Tottenham's Europa League fixture against PAOK Salonika on Thursday is a nuisance, according to Harry Redknapp.
The Spurs boss was already lamenting his lengthy injury list of key players this season, following his team's first league victory of the campaign at Molineux on Sunday.
Redknapp listed nine players currently on the treatment benches: Corluka, Gallas, Dawson, Rose, Lennon, Sandro, Huddlestone, Pienaar and Van der Vaart.
“Not a bad side, is it,” he joked at the press conference.
"The problem now I've got on Thursday is: can I really take this lot who've just come back and played two internationals? I've got to slap them out to Greece on Thursday, come back Friday, to play Liverpool on Sunday. It's a nuisance. So there won't be too many of those going to Greece. I want to save them for Sunday.”
Article Four of the Europa League Competition regulations states that clubs must field their strongest possible side throughout the competition.
As selection decisions in recent years have demonstrated, the Premier League bosses tend to see the Europa League as a poor relation to the Champions League, despite the huge financial rewards.
If Tottenham win the final in Bucharest on May 9, 2012, they will have played 11 matches in the Europa League. Teams who had to go through the qualifying phase have to play an additional four games before reaching the main stages of the competition.
Now that Tottenham have managed to get their Premier League season moving in the right direction after defeats to the two Manchester clubs, Redknapp could surely be forgiven for thinking that a 24-hour trip to Greece is not the ideal preparation for the weekend visit of Liverpool.
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