Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo has confirmed that the outfield players who started their weekend win at Newcastle United will all be left at home for Thursday's Europa Conference League trip to Vitesse Arnhem.
The Portuguese has decided that his first-choice XI who kicked-off in the 3-2 Premier League victory on Tyneside — including the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min — are to instead train in London ahead of Sunday’s derby at West Ham United.
It is not the first time this season Spurs have decided to rest players for the third-tier European competition. Nuno used the same tactic before for the qualifying game with Pacos de Ferreira where, although they lost 1-0 on the night, they won the following Premier League game against Wolves.
Asked ahead of the game in the Netherlands if it was a risky call for his Spurs team that sits top of Group G on goal difference, Nuno said: “No. It’s not about that. If someone gets that interpretation, I cannot do anything.
“And when you decide to think about the risk, if you always think about the risk, you cannot decide. Decisions in life, all of them have risk.
“So it’s about trying to analyse and see what is better for us in terms of our process during the week and for the future.
“Next week we are going to have another game midweek. So we have to measure all these things. But what you are trying to say, if you allow me, is not right.
“We respect all the competitions, we respect all the games. And we consider that it’s better for us to start the players that are going to start, leave some players here, work, recover well, so we can be able to compete better on the Sunday, and then we have Wednesday, and over and over again.
“But I repeat myself with the way I started, if you think about risk, you’ll not decide.”
One of those players who will be starting is Steven Bergwijn, who has returned from a six-game injury absence.
The Dutch international started the season well and Nuno says he is an important part of his plans.
“Stevie started the season very, very well. Very, very well,” the former Wolves manager added. “Unfortunately, he got injured in the national team and since then he’s struggled again.
“But now he’s getting back, like I said to you before, it’s about getting him fitter, stronger, faster because he’s a very talented player. Very talented player. Unique inside our squad.
“He has things that can really help us. He’s fantastic in one v one, offensive, he’s fast, he gives us speed. We need Stevie. I repeat myself: we need Stevie.”