Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham felt tired as they were beaten 1-0 by West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday, just days before their Champions League semi-final.
Michail Antonio’s goal ended Spurs’ 100 per cent record at their new stadium, as Pochettino made four changes before the semi-final first leg with Ajax on Tuesday.
“Of course they were fresh, we were tired, and of course now it is about moving on. Of course, it is going to be tough, we have two games and I wish, I hope we are in the top four.
“Of course it was tough, we knew it would be tough, it’s a derby. They arrive in a very good, fresh condition to compete, and for us the circumstance was very different.”
He added: “When the stress and fatigue arrived that is our reality. We are a very competitive team when we are with full energy, we are so focused.
“The stress and the fatigue arrived, we are competing with circumstances that are not the best.”
Though Pochettino admits the side felt disappointed by the defeat, he is keen to move on and says mentality will be vital ahead of Tuesday’s home tie.
“Nothing to say, only to move on. I am very disappointed, we all feel disappointed. The first half was good, second half wasn’t. One for us, one for them, but they score in the second half.
“Always it is tough to prepare our game, a semi-final against a good team like Ajax, arriving in that condition, of course it is going to be difficult but the mentality is most important, we need to forget now and move on to Tuesday.
“It is no good for us, but of course with all of the circumstances, sometimes this can happen.”