Tottenham manager José Mourinho expressed his frustration at an injury-plagued season after his side limply exited the UEFA Champions League at the last-16 stage last night.
The north Londoners fell to a 3-0 defeat at RB Leipzig, bowing out 4-0 on aggregate after the previous home defeat.
A Marcel Sabitzer double at the Red Bull Arena led the Bundesliga side to a comfortable victory, with Emil Forsberg scoring a late third with his first touch off the bench.
Mourinho said after the game that his side - runners-up in Europe last season - did all they could.
“The players were on their limits fighting until they could but also from the mental point of view, the emotional point of view it’s very, very difficult to be on the pitch, to know that it’s a really difficult target to achieve.
“In the second half, the players struggled but they gave everything they could, everything that was in their limits, then Giovani (Lo Celso) with problems and you can see the way Lucas, Dele, Lamela finished the game – really, really tired.
Extremely disappointing night. Gutted to be knocked out of the competition we did so well in last year. This one is tough to take but it’s not the time to crumble, we have to re group and focus on the weekend. Thank you to the travelling fans - forever grateful for the support 🙏🏾
— Dele (@dele_official) March 10, 2020
“It’s really hard. They were very intense, they were very physical, the rhythm of their game was very strong. We had an opportunity to score, I thought it was going to be an own goal – I saw the ball inside, we had that chance – then they go there, they score and after that it was really hard."
The Portuguese boss says he's hopeful his side can see one or two of their injured stars return before the end of the season.
“The message is that this is what we have, these are the players that we have. Eventually we are going to get, for a few matches – I don’t know – Sissoko or Harry (Kane) or Sonny. Maybe we are going to have them for a few matches and they can help us to fight for the best possible position.
“I think this is an incredibly unlucky season for the Club. Just look to the Leipzig match – before the first leg, we lost Sonny at Villa, before this match, two days before, we lost Bergwijn for the second leg. We don’t speak about Sissoko or Davies or Kane.
"But we are always positive, we are always ready to fight, we are always ready to believe. If you saw my press conference (on Monday) I was really positive, I was really trying to be positive for the boys – that’s the way we have to keep going until the end.”
Spurs have now failed to win in their last six games in all competitions - and sit seven points off fourth spot in the Premier League standings.