By Noel Whelan

4th Dec, 2020 | 7:17pm

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Noel Whelan has admitted it is “sad” to hear Jose Mourinho admit he cannot do without Heung-min Son and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in his starting XI at Tottenham.

The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted it is clear to see the Portuguese boss lacks trust in some of his squad after Thursday’s 3-3 draw with LASK.

As quoted by Sky Sports, Mourinho confessed he did not think Spurs would have got a good result against the Austrian outfit without Son and Hojbjerg on the pitch.

The duo have been mainstays in the starting XI across all competitions this season despite Spurs’ demanding fixture list.

Whelan has suggested that Mourinho would have loved to have given either of a pair a break and that his comments were a damning indictment of the squad.

“You’ve got Son who’s leading the line, who is that one player out there that he can’t do without,” Whelan told Football Insider.

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“I’m pretty sure that he would love to put him on the bench but I’m not sure that he trusts his players enough to do that. That’s pretty much what he said in his press conference. 

“That’s sad, that’s so sad for the rest of the players have been given an opportunity.”

Son has now made 16 appearances for Spurs this season, including 10 Premier League starts, although Thursday was his first start in the Europa League.

Hojbjerg meanwhile has missed just one of Tottenham’s 19 games across all competitions, with all but four of his appearances having come among the starting XI.

In other Tottenham news, Ex-Spur blown away by attacker’s work ethic – ‘He can run all day’.