Jose Mourinho questions Tottenham players’ motivation after slapdash draw against LASK

A frustrated Jose Mourinho looks on during Tottenham’s draw

“The fact that the Europa League group phase doesn’t motivate some of the players, I knew it.

“That some players are fundamental for us and I always need on the pitch in any circumstance, a couple of these players to give a little bit of balance to the team.

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our full mailing list consent terms here

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our full mailing list consent terms here

“As an example, (Pierre-Emile) Hojbjerg and Sonny, without them I don’t think we would have a positive result. Nothing really that I learn. The players know and I share my feelings with them, I am normally right.

“When I saw the warm-up before the game I had a feeling and I told the players before the game that there was a huge difference in intensity, communication and enthusiasm in their warm-up and our warm-up because I was looking at both. Nothing surprises me.”

Spurs were without Harry Kane due to an unspecified injury, but Mourinho was able to provide a positive update on the club’s top goalscorer ahead of Sunday’s derby with Arsenal in the Premier League.

The 57-year-old added: “I believe he’s going to be fit. I’m not sure, he’s on treatment. But I could be now doing some bluff or trying to pretend that he’s in big trouble. He’s not in big trouble. I believe he’s going to play.”

While Tottenham have qualified for the knockout phase, only a victory at home to Royal Antwerp on Thursday will send them through in top spot and therefore ensure they avoid the sides which will drop into the competition from the Champions League.

Mourinho is confident regardless of the opponent, all of his squad will be motivated by the time the knockout phase gets under way in February after a similar scenario with Manchester United in 2016-17 when they went on to win the competition.

“When we go to Antwerp, to Ludogorets, to Linz, the stadium, the weather, the emptiness, of course at home it’s the same in relation to that, but that atmosphere I have a feeling, but it’s not a feeling, it’s experience, that some of the players feel they shouldn’t be here,” the Spurs manager said.

“But the contradiction to that is players like Son and Pierre that are players starting every match, are examples of the guys that it doesn’t matter where, it doesn’t matter the competition, they are there and they are in front of the team every time.

“I think it’s a question of attitude, which I experienced before. Even at Manchester United I had a similar situation when we lost two matches away in the group phase and when we get to the knockout (stages) you get better opponents and more difficulties, the team faces matches in a different way.”

PA

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri – Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.

Source: Read Full Article