Spurs’ Mourinho will use Bayern ‘dead rubber’ to look at options

Soccer Football - Champions League - Tottenham Hotspur Press Conference - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - December 10, 2019 Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

(Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho says he will use Wednesday’s ‘dead rubber’ Champions League Group B match at Bayern Munich as a chance to familiarise himself with his new team.

Mourinho took over at Spurs last month following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino and oversaw the 4-2 win against Olympiakos Piraeus which ensured their progress to the last 16.

Yet with Bayern five points ahead of the London club at the top of the group, there is nothing at stake at the Allianz Arena and so Mourinho has left at home a quartet of senior players.

Dele Alli, Serge Aurier, Harry Kane and Jan Vertonghen have not travelled to Germany and Spurs will field an experimental side with several players ruled out with injury.

Ben Davies (ankle), Erik Lamela (hamstring), Hugo Lloris (elbow), Tanguy Ndombele (groin), Michel Vorm (calf) and Harry Winks (ankle) are all ruled out.

Mourinho, however, said there was no question of taking the game lightly.

“It’s an important game because we represent Tottenham Hotspur and that doesn’t matter the game, the objectives, the ambitions, the competition. Tottenham is Tottenham and that gives us always a sense of responsibility,” said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager.

“We cannot finish first, we cannot have that privileged position in the draw of playing against second in the table, playing the second match at home, so the result is not going to change anything,” he said.

Mourinho, however, says the game does give him a chance to take a look at some options with players such as Kyle Walker-Peters, Troy Parrott, Ryan Sessegnon and Victor Wanyama likely to feature.

“One thing I’ve not had is time, time to know my players well, to know all my players well and this is also a great opportunity for some of them to play, for some of them to show what they are capable of,” said Mourinho.

“Playing in competition is different to playing in training and some of my boys didn’t have the chance to play many minutes in these five matches since I arrived. So, we’ve tried to mix these factors.”

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