Kevin Phillips believes that Tottenham may benefit from the Premier League’s decision to allow clubs to play friendlies before the restart.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland striker insists that players will gain valuable experience from playing in stadia without fans.
The Telegraph reported earlier this week that clubs have been given the green light to stage friendlies, albeit with a number of strict instructions including players driving to games on their own. Matches will be played at either stadia or training grounds and teams are prohibited from travelling further than 90 minutes away.
As it stands, football is set to resume in June and Spurs have a number of players who have now recovered from injury ahead of a busy schedule. Jose Mourinho confirmed to Sky Sports that Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Steven Bergwijn and Moussa Sissoko are all available for selection.
Phillips told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs: “It is another stepping stone. A sensible move and it will all be done safely. If I am Jose Mourinho, to be able to play a competitive match before the restart is great. In preseason you play about six or seven games before you kick off the season and it sets you up nicely.
“Of course, getting one or two friendlies will certainly help when you go into the first game fitness wise. It will also give players the vital experience of playing behind-closed-doors.”
It is hard to argue with the pundit here, as Spurs slumped to a string of poor results in the absence of those injured players, who will be desperately keen to prove they are fully fit. Moreover, taking part in friendlies would give Mourinho a chance to blood in players and try out different forms of team selection.
Kane is the Lilywhites’ top scorer this season, despite the fact he has been out of action since New Year’s Day. The England international sustained a hamstring injury during the defeat to Southampton but he has now been medically cleared following a successful operation.
In the meantime, Bergwijn showed flashes of his overall brilliance before he succumbed to an ankle injury which ruled him out of Spurs’ last game against RB Leipzig. The 22-year-old scored twice in five games in the Premier League, including scoring in front of the home crowd against defending champions Manchester City (Transfermarkt).
Spurs are currently eighth in the table and Mourinho will need to make sure he picks the right forwards as his side look to challenge for Champions League football next season.
However, the attacking duo of Kane and Bergwijn are yet to play together, and this could provide Mourinho with the perfect opportunity to sort out his formation.
Tottenham fans, do you think the first team should take part in friendlies before the season restarts? Let us know by commenting below!
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