Alderweireld: It’s not easy to play every 48 hours. It demands a lot from the body
By Ben Pearce
Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham’s current schedule feels like the gruelling Christmas period and has praised the squad for overcoming their latest challenge.
Last night’s Carabao Cup tie against Chelsea was Spurs’ third match in six days, and they have two more to come before Sunday evening, facing Maccabi Haifa and Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho therefore made nine changes to his starting line-up against Frank Lampard’s Blues, and he witnessed a spirited performance as his side overcame an early setback to draw 1-1 in normal time and then triumph 5-4 in a penalty shootout.
“The only thing that compares is Christmas, when you play on Christmas Day and Boxing Day,” said Spurs defender Alderweireld. “It’s not only tough in your mind but also your muscles.
“You’re playing one of the biggest teams at a Premier League tempo, so it demands a lot on the body. We try to get through it in the best way possible.
“We don’t want to complain but of course it’s not easy to play every 48 hours. It demands a lot from the body, even a little risk. I think we really worked hard for the result.
“Okay, we didn’t win the competition but this is a big step. We’ll take it game by game but for the morale it’s very big to win this type of game.”
Spurs’ new left-back Sergio Reguilon had an eventful debut, making two errors in the build-up to Chelsea’s opening goal before redeeming himself as he set up Erik Lamela’s late equaliser.
“He was very good,” said Alderweireld. “He’s very quick. He’s able to go forward and defend.
“He’s in good spirits. Everyone makes mistakes but there was a lot to do after that moment. He showed he has a lot of potential to help us and be good in that position.”
Reguilon will have to wait to team up with Heung-Min Son on the left flank, as the South Korean undergoes treatment on a hamstring injury, but Mourinho hopes to see the pair linking up in around three weeks.
“I expect to have [Son] back after the international period, and you give me the opportunity to speak about it,” said Mourinho.
“I hope the national team coaches, they have their data and they realise how many minutes Tottenham players have played this week.
“I hope they care about the players and they protect them, because Tottenham players this week, they have an incredible amount of minutes and work and it’s very, very dangerous.”