Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is not concerned about his shortage of right-backs ahead of Sunday’s north London derby at Arsenal.
Spurs are without Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth, while possible makeshift replacement Eric Dier is struggling with a hip injury and is a doubt for the Emirates clash.
That leaves just Serge Aurier as the only recognised right-back but he has not featured since injuring himself playing for the Ivory Coast in the summer’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko is another possibility but – with Tanguy Ndombele’s injury – he is likely to be needed in the middle of the park.
It highlights Pochettino’s decision not to strengthen his squad in that area following the sale of Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid, but the manager is not worried.
“It’s not a worry, only an issue we need to fix – try to find another solution,” he said. “I am very optimistic that we will find the best way to perform. There’s no excuses.
“Always when one option disappears there is another option that appears and we will play with 11 players, from the beginning, eh?”
Dele Alli is unlikely to be be one of those 11 players but he could be on the bench after a recent hamstring injury.
“Dele got injured in the Audi Cup and we need to assess him on Saturday,” Pochettino added. “Maybe he will be involved in the squad. It’s not certain. We need to assess.
“He’s got one training session more. He’s doing well but still we need to assess him. I cannot say if he’s 50-50, 80-20, 20-80 – I don’t know. We need to see on Saturday and take the decision.”
Spurs’ trip across north London comes at a time where Pochettino’s future has come under scrutiny after the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle last weekend.
And the Argentinian thinks it is a good game for his side to try to bounce back in.
“Always you need to win,” he said. “If you came from a not good result like we did, you need to win. If you came from a good result you need to win again.
“The criticism in football comes when you don’t win. It’s not important what happened in the past, only what happens now, in the present.
“We know well what this game means. I’m lucky to be involved in this type of game. I love to play this type of game and I am so excited and optimistic that we will perform in our best way.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.