Tottenham Hotspur vs Burnley: Mauricio Pochettino promises to continue rotating squad to 'protect' his star names after FA Cup replay win

The Spurs manager also defended Roberto Soldado after the Spanish striker hit the bar from two yards out

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The Independent Football

Mauricio Pochettino will continue to rotate players after making eight changes for Tottenham’s 4-2 FA Cup defeat of Burnley.

Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris were among those rested by Pochettino, and with another five games left in January for Spurs Pochettino promised that the changes would continue. Spurs have a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final against Sheffield United to come and Pochettino will continue to “protect” his star names.

“We need to protect the players, we analyse every day the situation,” Pochettino said, after seeing Andros Townsend, Etienne Capoue and Benjamin Stambouli impress at White Hart Lane. “Today, there are some different players we need to keep and try to give rest and full recovery. It is important to manage the squad because it’s a very tough period. We need to avoid the risk of injuries. For that it is important, our analysis, our sports scientists, our medical staff, always to monitor the players every day.”

Pochettino defended Roberto Soldado after the Spanish striker hit the bar from two yards out, in one of the more surprising misses of the season. “We can talk about different things, but for me the most important thing is that he always fights and tries to give the best,” Pochettino said. “His attitude is perfect, he only missed the goal. In football when you work hard and always try to give the best, the recompense always arrives.”

Soldado failed to take advantage of a rare start, and Pochettino said that he felt sorry for the misfiring £24million Spaniard. “In football you don’t need to apologise,” he said. “Because we are sorry for him, he deserved to score, but in football, the actions are maybe difficult to explain. But I am happy with his performance, his attitude on the pitch, he tries to give his best in every training session and I am sure the goal will arrive.”