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Mourinho: Leipzig's entire bench would be in Spurs' starting XI

14:35 GMT+3 11/03/2020
Jose Mourinho Tottenham 2019-20
With Harry Kane and Son Heung-min out for the long term, Dele Alli was once again deployed as the lone striker

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has stated that RB Leipzig's entire bench of players would make his starting XI as the Portuguese continues to struggle with a multitude of injuries to key players.

Spurs travelled to Germany on Tuesday night with the tough task of overturning a 1-0 Champions League loss suffered at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Timo Werner having converted from the spot to give the Bundesliga title chasers the edge.

The Lilywhites were undone in humbling fashion, however, with the Red Bulls putting three past the travelling English side courtesy of Marcel Sabitzer (2) and Emil Forsberg.

Mourinho had been forced into playing Dele Alli as his main striker, the England international flanked by Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela, with long-term injuries to Harry Kane and fan favourite Heung-min Son forcing the head coach's hand.

Indeed, January signing Steven Bergwijn also pulled up with an injury ahead of the clash, adding his name to the list of walking wounded that includes Ben Davies, Davinson Sanchez and Moussa Sissoko.

With so many players out things were always going to be difficult in Germany, so much so that the Spurs boss claimed the likes of Youssuf Poulsen, Dani Olmo and Ademola Lookman from Leipzig's list of substitutes would walk into his starting XI at present.

“We have lots of problems and it's really difficult,” Mourinho said after the match. “I was positive yesterday but that's the way I have to be. The reality is a different thing – one team is much stronger.

“Of course it was difficult and Leipzig deserved to get to the quarter-finals. Every team in the world would struggle with five or six of their most important players missing. It's as simple as that.

“All the players on the Leipzig bench would play at this moment in my team.”

Being dumped out of Europe's top-tier club competition at this stage leaves Tottenham's chances of qualification for next season's tournament hanging by a thread, with recent Premier League results seeing the team drop behind in the race for a top-four spot.

Mourinho, however, has vowed that he and his squad will fight until the end. He added: “With the squad we have at the moment it's going to be very, very difficult. Our problems are not going to disappear tomorrow. 

“In the Premier League, we don't have the results where we have no chance to fight for the points. We lost 3-2, 2-1, 1-0, we had draws, so it's not like we can't fight. We're not going to recover any players for Sunday but at least we have a little period, four days, so at least from a physical point of view, we can react.

“We will fight until the end.”