Mauricio Pochettino will rotate his team when Newport visit Wembley for their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Wednesday – but the Spurs boss insists he will take the game just as seriously as Saturday’s north London derby.
Newport more than held their own in the initial tie at Rodney Parade as a strong Tottenham side relied on a late Harry Kane equaliser to secure a replay against the League Two outfit.
The likes of Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele started alongside Kane in south Wales, while Son Heung-min and Dele Alli came off the bench.
But, after an enthralling 2-2 draw at Liverpool on Sunday and an early kick-off against neighbours Arsenal this coming weekend, Pochettino admits he will make changes.
“We are going to rotate the starting XI, for sure,” he said.
“I cannot tell now, like always, but of course we need to rotate, we need to use players that don’t play too much. We are having a very busy period, and we need everyone fit and available to play.”
Despite making alterations, Pochettino has challenged those who play to earn themselves a spot in his Premier League side, although deadline-day signing Lucas Moura is unavailable as he was not registered for the original tie.
“For us, we have to be focused on tomorrow,” he said.
“But after Sunday, Wednesday, a lot of players play a lot of games. For me, we have a squad enough to win tomorrow. Of course that will be tough. That is why for me it is not important the names that are going to play tomorrow.
“When you have a squad like we have, it will be very good for some players to show their quality, and it is a great opportunity for them to show that they can fight for a place in the Premier starting XI.
“For me, it is the same whether tomorrow is Newport or another Premier League team.
“We take the competition very seriously, and tomorrow we are very focused and convinced that we are ready to win and compete. I think it is a game that we must win.”