Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochetino has denied Danny Rose's omission from the squad to face Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League is linked to the racist abuse the defender suffered two years ago.
Rose was subjected to monkey chants while on England Under-21 duty against Serbia in October 2012 and the game would have represented his first return to the country since the incident.
The left-back is one of six Tottenham first-team players omitted from the squad but Pochettino said the decision was linked to football reasons rather than previous incidents.
"No, it's not for that reason that he did not come," he said. "I know about the problems two years ago but they are not the reason he is not here now. We know the situation but it is not the reason. He didn't ask to be left out.
"The decision was based on football only. All my selection decisions are based on football, always. I think two years ago is a long time. My decision was simply to give him a rest [due] to him being tired after Sunderland.
"Before that he was with the national team for two weeks. It's always a stress to go with the national team. We also have a big squad and it allows other players to play and for me to see another player."
Emmanuel Adebayor, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele and Younes Kaboul have also remained in London to train, while Kyle Walker continues to recover from abdominal surgery which followed a pelvic problem that forced him to miss the World Cup.
After a decent start to their Premier League campaign, Pochettino must prove he can balance Tottenham's domestic and European ambitions, particularly with Champions League qualification on offer for the Europa League winners.
"The first game is always important, important to try and get the three points, a good performance and to feel good on the pitch," the Tottenham manager said.
"It may be a different team to the last game against Sunderland but we have a strong squad. Everyone is ready to play and we want to show our quality."