Mauricio Pochettino defended his decision to make multiple changes after Tottenham’s hopes of Champions League qualification suffered a minor setback with a 1-1 draw at Brighton.
Ahead of an important FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Saturday, Pochettino opted to rotate his squad at the Amex Stadium with six alterations from the team which started the weekend defeat to Manchester City.
Davinson Sanchez and Dele Alli were both omitted from Pochettino’s squad on the south coast, while Kieran Trippier, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela dropped to the bench.
His selection appeared justified when Harry Kane swept Spurs in front early in the second half but the Seagulls levelled soon after through Pascal Gross’ penalty.
The result leaves Tottenham eight points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea in the battle for a top-four finish.
Asked if his starting XI was influenced by the weekend meeting with Jose Mourinho’s United, manager Pochettino replied: “No, no, no. I was thinking today and trying to win.
“After Saturday evening (the loss to City), we finished very late, some players needed to rest, some players needed to stay on the bench and I think we have a strong squad.
“Everyone is ready to play and it was a moment to give some fresh legs to the team but we were thinking about trying to win today.
“We tried to add to the team fresh legs to match them in the physical condition and I think the season is tough for some players that play a lot.
“But (I am) always thinking about trying to win today, not next Saturday.”