Tottenham Hotspur may be playing second-tier Championship side Stoke City in the League Cup but that does not make its route to the semi-finals any easier, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has said.

Spurs and Newcastle United both avoided all-Premier League ties with Arsenal taking on Manchester City while Everton hosts Manchester United this week.

Mourinho said he was wary of the threat posed by Stoke, who has improved after two seasons of struggle since its Premier League relegation and sits seventh in the league in a closely-contested race for Championship playoff spots.

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“Even the Championship from the last decade, the difference between Championship and Premier League is minimum,” Mourinho told reporters on Tuesday. “The teams are very good. They have very good players and very good coaches.

“So even…

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