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How To Watch Spurs play Chelsea on Tuesday and host Maccabi Haifa in a Europa League play-off on Thursday - in-between two weekend Premier League games.
"I would like to fight for the Carabao but I don't think I can," he said.
"The group phase of the Europa League gives us a certain amount of money that for a club like us is very important."
Spurs would have had the same run of games last week had Leyton Orient not forfeited their third-round tie because players tested positive for coronavirus.
They are the first English team in Europe this season because they have had to come through two rounds of qualifiers to reach the play-off, the round before the group stages.
Mourinho's side visit Manchester United next Sunday in the league, having drawn 1-1 with Newcastle on Sunday.
"I think you can imagine that with a game on Thursday that decides a very important thing for us, I think the EFL made a decision for us," he said.
"They didn't even create a problem - they made a decision for us. So that's the decision.
"Chelsea played Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday [off] then they play Tuesday and then they play again on the weekend.
"So their fantastic squad, if the manager decides not to rotate, he can perfectly play with the players that he wants."
Spurs lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury at half-time against Newcastle.
"Sonny is just the first. More [injuries] will come," said Mourinho.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, who played under Mourinho at Chelsea, said: "I know for Jose it's a busy time with the Europa League
"When I analyse Tottenham and see the squad that didn't play 90 minutes yesterday, I see a very strong squad."
Chelsea - who have beaten Spurs four times in a row in all competitions - will be without wingers Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic, who are still recovering from injury.
But two summer signings, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and left-back Ben Chilwell, will be in the squad.
Lampard says the arrival of Mendy does not mean 25-year-old Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was first choice until making some errors, will be leaving.
"I certainly won't go to the point of saying Kepa has played his last game for Chelsea," Lampard said.
"We have to also understand Kepa is a young man. A lot of the spotlight on him has become unfair. I have to protect him because I know he's a good lad trying to do his best."