Its been a year since Jose Mourinho was appointed as manager of Tottenham. Mourinho’s men host Pep’s Manchester City on Saturday in what could be a good indicator of Spurs title credentials. Tottenham sit second in the table with the joint highest goal difference along with Chelsea, 10. Manchester City have had a tough start to the season with just three wins and three draws seeing them occupy the 10th position.
Speaking to the reporters ahead of the Manchester City game, Mourinho discussed on injuries, title credentials and international break.
“Training session is 3pm, players will report after 1.30pm. Waiting for a couple of news and decisions. Couple of players didn’t see them yet coming back from national team. Winks arrived with little problem. Lamela is still on the last period of recovery. Apart from that no problems.”
On Gareth Southgate
“I don’t want to spend much time on the national team stuff so I will try in your question and my answer to go through everything that I think is important for me. Gareth Southgate, I read, I don’t think I’m wrong in what I read, he supposedly told that some football club managers, they put pressure not to play for the national team and because of that he feels sometimes the need to call club managers to try to cool down the emotions and try to control the difficult situation for him. I would like him to say who. I would like him to say which are the coaches who put pressure on the players not to go? And I would like him to say which are the coaches that he calls and speaks on the phone with them. Apart from that, he has the right, he has the power to call the players he wants. He wants to win matches, especially after a defeat, the next match even being a dead rubber is an important match. I sympathise with that.”
“And of course we all know Sterling will play tomorrow. When Eric Dier left the national team injured in the previous month, he didn’t play two matches for Tottenham. He didn’t play a Premier League match and a Europa League match. He needed a couple of weeks to recover and Raheem is going to play tomorrow. These are the little details I think Gareth should explain to us all. Apart from that, I totally support him in the fact that in the national team, in a country like England, the Three Lions on the shirt is always to be respected and he plays with the players he wants to play.”
On allowing five substitutions
“The number of substitutions, I understand different perspectives. I’m OK with three, I’m OK with five. In the majority of times, I use three. If I have the possibility to make four or five, it would be better. Yeah, it would be better. But that doesn’t mean I would use the fourth or the fifth. Some clubs they think the powerful squads have an advantage to make five substitutions, but sometimes the powerful squads don’t make even two, they make only one. So there’s space for different opinions. I’m OK with any decision.”
On Spur’s title credentials and performance
“The result of the game will not change anything, only three points more or three points less. And being first, second, third or fourth fifth or sixth in the table. But in terms of journey, our ambition, our project, our process, it’s not going to change.
I think clubs never reach what they want. Us coaches, we are always in the search of the impossible, we are always in the search for perfection and in my case, we are far from perfection. For example, our opponents tomorrow they are winning the Premier League or almost winning the Premier League or fighting for the Premier League for more than 10 years and probably they didn’t reach the perfection and want more“