By Wayne Veysey

21st Feb, 2016 | 7:01pm

Key Tottenham player faces battle to be fit for Fiorentina and Swansea clashes

By Tottenham correspondent Mousa Dembele

Mousa Dembele faces a race against time to be fit for Tottenham’s matches against Fiorentina and Swansea next week.

The Belgian midfielder was substituted at half-time in Spurs’ 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed afterwards that Dembele was suffering from a groin injury as he admitted the London club’s gruelling fixture list was taking its toll.

“Mousa Dembele had a smaller groin problem,” Pochettino said at his media conference. “That’s why we changed him at half-time.

“It’s a tough period for us. We have a crazy schedule but now we need to look forward to be ready for next Thursday.”

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Pochettino denied that fatigue was a factor in Spurs’ defeat to Palace as he admitted it was difficult to know if elimination from the FA Cup will help their title challenge.

“It was tough. It’s like a Premier League game but you need to be clinical in front of goal. We managed the game, created chances but it was difficult to win.

High flyers: Pochettino’s team are second in the Premier League

“There was no tiredness. If we analysed the game we played better but you need to score. It’s hard to explain.

“It’s impossible to know if losing here will help us in the long ruin. Now we feel disappointed because we’re out.”

Spurs host Fiorentina in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 clash on Thursday before Swansea travel to White Hart Lane three days later.

In other Tottenham injury news, Jan Vertonghen is expected to be absent until the start of April.