Mauricio Pochettino backing Tottenham's squad depth to prove trump card in bid for Champions League victory

Ross McLean
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Pochettino has played down injury fears over defender Toby Alderweireld (Source: Getty)

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is adamant that squad depth will prove his trump card as Spurs bid to take a significant step towards the Champions League knockout phase with victory over Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena on Tuesday.

Pochettino will be without striker Harry Kane, who remains sidelined with an ankle injury, and Toby Alderweireld after the defender was stretchered off at the weekend with a knee problem. Pochettino, however, insists the injury is “not too serious”.

Spurs are currently second in Group E, a point behind leaders Monaco, and Pochettino doubts whether injuries to key players will derail Tottenham’s bid for European progress.

“The power of the team is that anyone can play,” said the Argentine. “Everyone is fighting for a place in the stating XI. To achieve something, it’s important to keep that mentality in the squad.

“Bayer Leverkusen is a team that we know very well with very good players. It’s a team that is normally playing in the Champions League. They have good experience but we will see. We are in a very good moment and we need to keep that.”

There were initial fears that

Alderweireld could be missing from Tottenham’s side for the foreseeable future after punching the turf having collided with team-mate Jan Vertonghen during Saturday’s tussle with West Brom at the Hawthorns. Pochettino doused such worries.

“We need to wait for the scan but we believe it’s not a big issue,” added Pochettino. “He’s got a knock on his leg but it was better yesterday and today. We need to wait for the result but I hope that it’s nothing important.”