Jose Mourinho has caused confusion at Tottenham HQ after his comments on Toby Alderweireld.
Spurs conceded late on yet again to throw away a chance to go into the top four over Chelsea, who had lost to West Brom on Saturday.
It came during a 2-2 draw against Newcastle at St James Park where Arsenal loanee Joe Willock scored an 85th-minute equaliser.
Harry Kane had netted twice for the visitors to put them ahead after Joelinton had put the Magpies in the lead early on.
But that late goal has set them back and allows the likes of West Ham and Everton to capitalise, with matches against Wolves and Crystal Palace to come respectively.
And in defence, there was a change of the guard with Alderweireld missing out and Joe Rodon taking his place alongside Davinson Sanchez.
It was revealed by Mourinho that the centre-back missed out, along with Serge Aurier, because they had only trained for one day after returning from international duty.
“They were fit, yeah, but they reported for training only yesterday,” he said after the match.
“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.”
However, according to the Evening Standard, Tottenham insiders have been left confused by Mourinho’s comments.
The fact that Alderweireld did not return until Thursday has been disputed, with his actual arrival on Wednesday afternoon.
The 32-year-old played took part in Belgium’s match against Latvia in Leuven on Tuesday and travelled back the next day.
Mourinho was less than pleased with the manner in which is side conceded, admitting there are too many errors.
He said: “There are mistakes which I probably shouldn’t even call mistakes because they are related to qualities that players have.
“Looking at the second goal, it’s easy to understand because there’s three different moments – the cross, the ball at the far post where they won it, and then the ball in the face of the goal where our two centre-backs were in position. You can analyse it easily.”