ENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas believes it will be “impossible” for his team to reach the Capital One Cup fourth round, as they travel to Aston Villa tonight to complete their third game in six days.
A 3-0 demolition of Tromso in the Europa League on Thursday was followed by a last-minute 1-0 win against Cardiff on Sunday.
And Villas-Boas believes the scheduling of tonight’s tie, so soon after Spurs’ last encounter, has ruined their chances of advancing in the competition.
“This is an impossible game for us to play, but hopefully our team spirit and motivation can get us through,” he said.
“It is not our absolute No1 priority, but I don’t think we have been given a fair chance to play in this competition this year.
“It could be possible for the players who played against Cardiff to play this game, but I am not sure I want to risk the players who played getting a hamstring injury which could take them six weeks to recover from when the Premier League is more important.
“This team has not experienced having to play again after just two days and we have not been given the same chance as the other teams. So we will have to rotate our squad, as the players who played in Cardiff will not be involved.
“We are struggling a little bit with injuries, but we have great strength in depth, although it is not going to be easy.”
Villas-Boas is likely to hand a long-awaited debut to defender Vlad Chiriches, signed from Steaua Bucharest for £8.5m last month, after a frustrating wait for a work permit had made him previously unavailable.
Left-back Danny Rose is definitely out, having suffered a toe injury in the win over Tromso, but could be back for Saturday’s Premier League clash with London rivals Chelsea.
Striker Jermain Defoe is struggling with a groin injury that kept him out of the weekend win at Cardiff and is a major doubt.