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Pochettino says there will be no excuses as Spurs take on Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League, despite injuries

Mauricio Pochettino will be without key players for Spurs' Champions League tie with Apoel Nicosia Photo: PA

Mauricio Pochettino insists there are no excuses despite Tottenham's long list of absentees for their Champions League game against Apoel Nicosia.

Christian Eriksen made it a total of seven players who are unavailable for tonight's match in Cyprus after the Dane fell ill on Sunday, becoming unable to even travel with the Spurs squad.

He joins the suspended Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli in missing out, along with Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela, who are all injured.

Dele Alli has struggled through form and suspension in recent weeks. Credit: PA

It leaves Pochettino down to the bare bones for a match Tottenham ought to win if they are to maintain the momentum gained from their impressive opening victory over Borussia Dortmund.

"It's not an excuse to have some players out of the squad," Pochettino said.

"Christian is a very important player for us. It's true we will miss him but we need to move on, we need to find a way to play and perform and try to win.

"He is ill, he stays in London, and we trust the player who comes into his position. I am not a manager who cries because a player cannot play.

"It's about the team, the squad, quality, effort and we have a very strong squad to try to win."

Christian Eriksen has been in fine-form already for Spurs this season. Credit: PA

Pochettino could throw 19-year-old Argentinian Juan Foyth into the back three, allowing Eric Dier to partner either Moussa Sissoko or Harry Winks in central midfield.

A more attacking alternative would be to pair Fernando Llorente, who has been struggling for match fitness, up front with Harry Kane from the start.

Tottenham's squad proved too thin last season to cope with the extra demands of the Champions League - and within matches they were also guilty of being tactically naive.

Fernando Llorente is yet to start a game for Spurs up front with Harry Kane. Credit: PA

Defender Ben Davies said: "I think the main thing we learned last year was you have to be totally prepared for the team you are up against and you cannot play the same way against every opponent.

"It's a totally different level of football and we have to be able to adjust. We can't always go gung-ho against sides like maybe we do in the Premier League. Sometimes you have to be able to soak up pressure and then hit teams on the break."

Key to that strategy is Kane, who has eight goals in his last six matches, proving with his double against Dortmund that he can produce at the highest level.

"We don't know what else to say about him at the moment," Davies said. "All the boys appreciate him.

"He is just incredible, he needs just one chance or even just one half-chance to produce a bit of magic and score."