Jose Mourinho criticises Spurs’ ‘total joke’ fixture pile-up, with nine possible

“But the people who make these decisions, they forgot that one English club – it could have been Wolves, it could have been Sheffield United or another one – they forgot that this situation is not possible.

“This is a joke, a total joke, but here we go. We were very lucky that Leyton Orient beat Plymouth because Plymouth would be very, very far for us.”

Tottenham defender Eric Dier said this week that the current schedule shows a lack of care for the welfare of the players and he was supported by his manager, who fears a string of injuries and said he cannot understand how football’s decision-makers created such a run of fixtures.

“I don’t think it’s about people who make these decisions,” said Mourinho. “It’s not about people not caring about players, I think it’s just the wrong people in the places. It’s not people who understand anything about football. They have no idea. I couldn’t believe that a decision at this level could be made.

“I’m concerned with their welfare, I’m concerned that injuries can happen. Everybody in every club is always concerned about the Christmas period and this is much more than the Christmas period, so when 20 clubs are concerned the accumulation of matches around the Christmas fixtures then imagine what we feel in this moment. So yes, we are concerned.”

Sunday’s match at Southampton begins at midday and Mourinho said sarcastically that the kick off time was “another great decision” from the footballing authorities.

“Many of the players didn’t even have a pre-season and we are using these matches also for the evolution of the players and the team,” said Mourinho.

“But the reality is that we are playing these matches for big things so when you lose a match in the Premier League, you lose three points. If we lost on Thursday then we were out of the Europa League so it’s difficult to manage both things at the same time.

“But we are going to try to recover the best we can. The game [against Southampton] could be 5pm or 6pm to give us more time but no, it’s 12 o’clock and that’s another great decision.”

Read More:Jose Mourinho criticises Spurs’ ‘total joke’ fixture pile-up, with nine possible