Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho says his players must change their attitude quickly if he is to deliver on his vow to win silverware at the club.
Spurs, who are eighth in the Premier League, were eliminated from the Europa League in the last 16 on Thursday after throwing away a 2-0 first-leg lead against Dinamo Zagreb.
Mourinho, in his first full season in charge at the north London club, is aware his side will start as outsiders to Pep Guardiola’s in-form Premier League leaders Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on April 25.
The Portuguese boss has won trophies at every club he has managed and last season promised to deliver a long-awaited trophy at Tottenham, with their last success coming in the 2008 League Cup, during his tenure.
Asked whether he retained belief he could still win silverware at Tottenham, Mourinho said: “There are some groups [of players] where it is easier to win. That is obvious.
“[On Thursday], we lost a chance at winning a trophy. I am not saying by winning [against Dinamo Zagreb] we would win the Europa League, far from that.
“But, we were knocked out of a competition where if you go to the quarter-finals you have a 12.5 per cent chance of winning the competition. So, we can say we lost [a chance at winning] a competition.
“Of course the only chance we have to win a trophy this season is the [Carabao Cup] final we have to play against a very good team, against the next champions and against a team that match after match show an incredible desire to win.
“It will be a very difficult final and if you want to have a chance to win of course the attitude has to be completely different.”
‘I feel very hurt’
Mourinho insists his squad must look hard from within to resolve their fortunes, rather than question the role of the leaders within the team after he said his players failed “at the basics of life” during the defeat in Croatia.
Spurs stunned in Zagreb
Tottenham are the first English side to take a two-goal lead into the second leg of a European knockout tie and fail to progress since Manchester City against Monaco in the last 16 of the 2016-17 Champions League.
“To speak about leaders on the pitch is something that makes me uncomfortable,” said the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager.
“I think it is something that belongs to us, belongs to the dressing room, the life of us as a working group.
“Of course, from the outside, you can have your perspective, you can analyse it and probably with your experience and knowledge you can take some conclusions, but I am not going to go in that direction.”
Mourinho says the defeat in Croatia left him with a “very bad feeling” but that it was not the most difficult night of his career, instead citing the pain of losing two Champions League semi-finals on penalties while at Chelsea and Real Madrid.
“Maybe for some people in football, football is a job or football is a way to make money… For me it is much more than that,” he added.
“That is why I never lose the basics of football which are passion, heart, desire. I feel very hurt.”
Spurs, who were without influential pair Heung-Min Son and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on Thursday, visit ninth-placed Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Despite a week that began with defeat in the north London derby to Arsenal on Sunday, they remain in contention for a top-four league finish with a six-point deficit to fourth-placed Chelsea, albeit with a game in hand.
Asked what he wants to see in response from his side, he replied: “That is the same question as after the game against Arsenal and I didn’t see what I wanted to see. It is hard to say because I was expecting a completely different attitude and we didn’t get that.
“I want all the ingredients that I said to some of the previous questions that are what I consider to be the basics of an honest professional.
“Doesn’t matter the area. At this moment we are speaking about football. We could be speaking about any other area in society. The basics of every job; honesty, commitment, desire, respect for the people that expect that you give all these ingredients. That is what I expect to have every day of the month.”
www.skysports.com 2021-03-19 13:00:00