Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino blames English failures in Europe this season on lack of winter break

Only Everton remain in the Europa League

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The Independent Football

Mauricio Pochettino has put English teams’ failures in the Champions League down to the lack of a winter break in the Premier League.

Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea were all eliminated at the last-16 stage of the Champions League in recent weeks, and Pochettino said that the intense Christmas and January schedule had tired the players for when knock-out European football returned in the spring.

“It’s difficult for us to compete with the European teams because they have in a key moment the break at Christmas,” Pochettino explained at his press conference this afternoon. “It is very important to arrive fresh in this key period.”

Pochettino pointed to the words of the Barcelona manager last night as support for his argument that the European clubs are fresher for having had a break of their own in January.


“After the game Luis Enrique said it’s an advantage to have a break at Christmas and he recognised it’s important to be fresh at this time,” Pochettino said. “This is one key, maybe to justify the English teams being out of the Champions League.”

Spurs host Leicester City in the Premier League tomorrow and Pochettino has pledged to overturn the disappointment of last Sunday, when Spurs lost 3-0 at Manchester United.

“We need to show that it hasn’t damaged us too much,” Pochettino said, “and to try to give the best and get the three points.”