Everton manager David Moyes has warned his Australian midfielder Tim Cahill he faces burn-out as he battles to lift the Toffees out of a sticky patch.
Cahill, 29, has missed just two of Everton's 15 games this season and coupled that with exhausting trips to play for Australia.
Everton, who played Spurs in the Carling Cup fourth round last night, went into the match without 11 injured senior players, and Moyes believes the pressure is beginning to take its toll on Cahill and his colleagues.
Everton have gone four games without a win as their injury list has lengthened, and Moyes is worried particularly about
He said: "Tim is a terrific player for us with his effort and endeavour, and we need that.
"It is part of the spirit of this club and he has been a big part of that. But we must remember that Tim is not getting any younger, either.
"He has travelled a long way around the world to play for Australia earlier in the month, so at some point there is going to be an effect on his game.
"A lot depends on how he looks after himself and prepares for games. But ideally, and I hate to keep making the point, if there were a few more lads fit then I may be able to give him a rest.
"But at the moment we do not have that luxury because of the situation we are in."
Moyes believes Everton's cause is not being helped by having to play three games in six days
But television requirements, and police concerns about two sets of Merseyside travelling fans in the capital on the same day, meant it was Liverpool's trip to the Emirates for the game against Arsenal that was switched to today for television coverage.
That left Everton forced to play their tie in north London last night, two days after facing Bolton in the league.
Coming on the back of a Europa League game in Lisbon against Benfica on Thursday, and Sunday's trip to Bolton – both matches in finishing 5-0 and 3-2 defeats respectively – Moyes' mood has not been calmed.
Moyes had been so upset by the decision he chose to attack the competition organisers in his programme column for the Wolves home game 10 days ago.
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