Tottenham Hotspur have a League Cup Third Round match at Wolves tomorrow, and as expected they’ll be without two of their starting wide attackers. Nuno Espirito Santo just finished his press conference ahead of the trip to Molineux and confirmed that his side will be without both Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, both of whom picked up injuries while away at Rennes in the Europa Conference League.
Nuno's just finished his press conference. Re #THFC team news: Moura and Bergwijn still out.— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) September 21, 2021
He adds that: Bergwijn has a sprain on his foot and twisted his ankle. So protective boot is so he can still do upper body work. Not sure if he'll be back for NLD.
With a huge North London Derby coming up at the weekend, the absence of Lucas and Bergwijn may give Nuno a bit of a selection headache heading into the League Cup. It remains to be seen how much Nuno will prioritize this competition, despite Spurs making it to the final last season.
The first half performance against Chelsea may lead Nuno to rest creative players like Tanguy Ndombele and Gio Lo Celso against Wolves, which would provide opportunities for others like Oliver Skipp, Harry Winks, Bryan Gil, and Dane Scarlett. Much of it depends on how much Nuno wants to rotate; we could also see defenders rotate in such as Matt Doherty, Ben Davies, and Joe Rodon.
In his press conference, Nuno also answered a question about Tottenham’s early season tactics, which have been criticized by segments of Spurs fandom for being too reactive and negative, in contrast to chairman Daniel Levy’s insistence on returning to attractive, positive football. In what feels like a typical Nuno response, he stated that this Tottenham team is still a work in progress, that he’s been working around absences and injuries in the early part of the season, and that there’s much more to come.
“I’m an honest person. I think we have to look at what happened and the message, this is not the right moment but I will do it, we started the season with a lot of situations that players are away and we build a way.
“We build how we wanted to do things and we did quite well in the first matches of the season. When things happen and we have problems and results don’t appear, the momentum goes. The good feeling goes away but this is what we have to realise and we have to find a way to go back again. Our fans deserve much much better than what we did on Sunday.
“The first half [vs. Chelsea] there were a lot of positives but the second half was not good. We lost that chance to recover the good feeling among us.
“My message is clear: we are working very hard and the players are committed to it. It’s about trying to build during the competition, we don’t have too much time on the training ground. The players are committed. We are going to gel. It’s how I work, with everybody involved.”
The League Cup match against Wolves kicks off Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. The match is not televised in the USA or UK, but will be streamed in the United States on ESPN+.