Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has responded to Jose Mourinho’s claims that Tottenham may have to sacrifice the Carabao Cup this season due to their compact fixture schedule, insisting his side will continue to take the competition seriously.
Spurs drew 1-1 with Newcastle on Sunday and play Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, before facing Maccabi Haifa in their Europa League playoff two days later.
The Europa League clash will be Spurs’ seventh game in 18 days and Mourinho has confessed the Carabao Cup – the last piece of silverware Tottenham lifted – comes at the bottom of their priority list as it is not as financially lucrative as the Europa League.
“I would like to fight for the Carabao but I don’t think I can,” said Mourinho [via the Guardian.] “We have a game on Thursday that gives us not as much money as the Champions League, but the group phase of the Europa League gives us a certain amount that for a club like us is very important.
“It’s a competition with a possible group phase that gives us a good chance to go through to the next knockout stage, so this game on Thursday is very important for us.”
However, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has dismissed the complaints of his former boss, insisting that every team has to deal with fixture congestion and adding that Tottenham’s strength in depth should enable them to get by.
“I know it’s a busy time for Tottenham because of the Europa League,” said Lampard [via the Mirror]. “It’s a busy time for us all. They had a free mid-week last week, we didn’t.
“I know they have a busy week this week. But when I analyse Tottenham and know the squad they have, and analyse what might be a team that maybe didn’t play 90 minutes pretty much yesterday. They have a fantastic squad, so I feel that any squad Jose will put out can be very strong.
“For teams like ourselves and Tottenham – who are challenging for the top four and Champions League – then the Carabao Cup does have its place and we certainly respect it and every tournament we go in we’ll try and win.”