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Pochettino to keep Spurs stars under wraps

Press AssociationPress Association 13/10/2016 Tom Allnutt

Mauricio Pochettino admits he must guard against overworking his players ahead of what he believes will be a crucial period in Tottenham's season.

Spurs will play their first of seven games in 23 days when they travel to West Bromich on Saturday as they look to sustain the momentum gained from their superb win over Manchester City.

In that period, Pochettino's men face home and away Champions League fixtures against Bayer Leverkusen, an EFL Cup fourth-round trip to Liverpool, as well as Premier League games against Bournemouth, Leicester and Arsenal.

It will be another test of Tottenham's squad, which has successfully absorbed injuries to Harry Kane, Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier in recent weeks.

Pochettino must also carefully assess his international players like the in-form Son Heung-min, who was in Tehran playing for South Korea against Iran on Tuesday, and Erik Lamela, who was in Argentina for their defeat to Paraguay a day later.

It means Spurs may rotate their starting line-up at the Hawthorns, with Pochettino admitting he has no choice but to keep one eye on the schedule ahead.

"Saturday we know is a very important game and important to try to win the game," Pochettino said.

"But in the same way we have many, many issues or ideas in our head because it is not only that we have one game ahead against West Bromwich, like it's the (only) game and we need the three points and it is the end of the season.

"We need to be clever in how we prepare the game and the decision that we shall take to be ready to compete in Germany, Bournemouth, Liverpool in seven games."

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