Tottenham Playing Chess Without Pieces - Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Tottenham Playing Chess Without Pieces - Jose Mourinho

Austin Papi

Tottenham Hotspur gaffer, Jose Mourinho, has described his team’s injury problems as “playing chess without any pieces” following his side’s last-minute heroics to progress through to the fifth round of the FA Cup in a replay match against Southampton.

Tottenham coughed out two late goals in the final 12 minutes of the match from Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min to ensure the London club escaped with a 3-2 victory. They will go on to face Norwich in the next round of matches in the FA Cup.

Jack Stephens' own goal gave Mourinho’s lads the lead, but a few minutes later, they were pegged back after Shane Long and Danny Ings both found the back of the net to put Southampton in front.

Mourinho had to introduce a half-fit Dele Alli to turn the tide around in their favour during the second half, while Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela were subsequently added to Spur’s growing injury list at the end of the match.

The Portuguese coach said after the match: "I had to manage this chess game without pieces.

"You know. No bishops, no kings, no queens. Very, very hard with so many injuries and problems. No Bergwijn.

"I cannot speak about the progress I want to make because I don't have the players I want.

"And the team needs players to progress, collectively, tactically and dynamically. We need to have the players but we don't have the players.

"We lose so many. Sissoko, Harry, and today Lamela, Lo Celso and Bergwijn. It is so difficult.

"One game we have players A, B and C out and then the next game we are without D, E and F. It's been a very difficult season.

"So everything was like when you pull a blanket up and your feet are left out and then you cover your feet but half of your body is out. That's us. But amazing spirit, and that is something I like.

"The best team lost. The best team on the pitch lost."

The likes of Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Ben Davies remain sidelined with various degree of injuries while Steven Bergwijn was ineligible having joined the club after the initial cup tie at St. Mary's last month had been played.

Happenings Media