Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has hailed his “remarkable” squad for getting through a packed fixture list.
Sunday’s game at Mourinho’s former club Manchester United marks the end of gruelling period for Spurs, who will have played seven games in 22 days and four in eight as they battle in three competitions.
During that time there have been Europa League trips to Bulgaria and Macedonia and they have had to play Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday this week to fit all of their fixtures in.
Mourinho has been in management for 20 years but admits the last few weeks have been a new experience for him.
“I’ve never had anything like this before,” Mourinho said. “Never. After Sunday, for me and the players that are not going to the national team, we will have an amazing week to relax, to get energy again.
“But for the boys going to the national teams, and we have so many going with different countries, it’s going to be again, and again, and again, more hard work.
I’ve never had anything like this before. Never.Jose Mourinho
“Incredible mentality, we have players in great numbers but it’s not been possible to play everybody, especially, (Eric) Dier, Toby (Alderweireld), (Steven) Bergwijn, what they did playing two matches in three days.
“Of course it’s too much, it’s impossible to have another week and suffer like that. But the groups work very, very hard. They stimulate each other, they work hard for each other and they are there for each other.
“In Macedonia, Harry Kane was with some pain, was on the bench ready to help in case we needed. This time we had players on the bench who played against Chelsea in a big match 48 hours ago and now they were on the bench ready to help.
“Amazing, amazing and if you look back and look at what we did then you will see it’s remarkable. But let’s forget it now, let’s focus on the last match of this incredible period,” added Mourinho, who has bolstered his squad with the loan signing of of Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius.
“We have one more match and we have to focus on it and not to find excuses now, we need to stay motivated again.”