Soccer-Alderweireld, Aurier left out due to late return: Mourinho

·1-min read
Premier League - Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said he was without defenders Toby Alderweireld and Serge Aurier for Sunday's 2-2 Premier League draw with Newcastle United because they did not return from international duty in time for COVID-19 tests.

Mourinho said Belgian Alderweireld and Ivory Coast's Aurier only returned to the club's training ground on Saturday, while the rest of the squad had been tested in midweek.

"They went for their national teams and they didn't make the COVID tests on time to be in the training session on Thursday, not even on Friday. They come only yesterday (Saturday)," Mourinho told reporters.

"The players that landed in London on Wednesday after internationals and the ones that played in London, like in the case of the English boys, they had the test and could be in training on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"I don't want to say indiscipline. I don't want to say this. It is what it is."

A frustrated Mourinho said defensive mistakes had cost his side as they failed to hold on to the lead against Newcastle.

Tottenham are fifth in the league and host second-placed Manchester United on Sunday.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)