Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he had to start Reece James from the bench against Manchester United because the right-back couldn’t play the full 90 minutes.
James was a second-half substitute in the 2-1 loss for Pochettino’s men at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old missed the game against Brighton on Sunday because he was serving a one-game suspension after picking up a red card in the 4-1 loss to Newcastle United almost two weeks ago, and was expected to start against Man United.
Instead, it was Marc Cucurella that was drafted in at right-back, while Levi Colwill captained the team.
After the game, Pochettino was asked about the decision not to start James, and he said that the England international wasn’t fit enough to play the entire match.
“It was 1-1 in the first half but we cannot play with Reece for 90 minutes, that’s why it was the decision,” said Pochettino.
“We got what we wanted in the second half to use more of the right side to attack and arrive from this side.”
To be fair, James didn’t seem very fit after he came on, and was forced into making a few mistakes by the high intensity of Man Utd.