REUTERS: It will be very difficult for Tottenham Hotspur's injury-ravaged squad to qualify for next season's Champions League, manager Jose Mourinho said after his side were eliminated from the competition by RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
Spurs, last season's runners-up, were missing a number of important players as they lost 3-0 in the second leg to the German side, who went through to the quarter-finals with a 4-0 aggregate victory.
Spurs are eighth in the Premier League with 41 points, seven behind Chelsea in fourth place - the final automatic qualifying spot for the Champions League.
"With the squad we have at the moment it's going to be very difficult. These problems are not going to disappear tomorrow," Mourinho told reporters.
"But we have matches to play, matches to fight in. You can see in our matches in the Premier League that we fight until the end ... the players have to be very strong with the limitations we have."
Tottenham skipper Harry Kane is stepping up his recovery from a hamstring operation while fellow forward Son Heung-min is sidelined with a broken arm and winger Steven Bergwijn faces a lengthy spell out after sustaining an ankle injury.
"I think every team in the world would struggle with five or six of their most important players missing, it is as simple as that," said Mourinho, whose side host fifth-placed Manchester United on Sunday.
"I'm pretty sure in the next match the boys will go again ready to give everything they can give. That is not easy for them at that level."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)