Mourinho praises Spurs’ ‘family spirit’

Peter Smith

Comment and Analysis @p_smith86

Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son goals move Spurs six points off fourth

Last Updated: 22/01/20 11:43pm

Heung-Min Son and Jose Mourinho talk tactics during Spurs' win over Norwich
Heung-Min Son and Jose Mourinho talk tactics during Spurs’ win over Norwich

Tottenham’s ‘family spirit’ helped them battle to victory over Premier League bottom club Norwich at home on Wednesday night, says Jose Mourinho.

Spurs were below-par for long periods and looked to be heading for a frustrating point with their impressive visitors when Teemu Pukki’s penalty cancelled out Dele Alli’s opener.

But Tottenham hit back through Heung-Min Son’s close-range header to pick up their first Premier League win of 2020 and close the gap on the top four to six points.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Norwich in the Premier League
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Norwich in the Premier League

“It’s a very important result for us,” Mourinho said. “Apart from Leicester and Liverpool, every other team is in a very hard group; you win a game and you go up, you lose a game and you go down. It’s very difficult to win two, three matches in a row.

“When we are playing very well we should score more goals and kill matches because then when the opponent is in control they create problems and you risk to lose matches.

“But it was fantastic what happened after 1-1. I looked to the bench and I didn’t have attacking players to change the game, the team is under fatigue… how can we change the game? With the family spirit, family character, family desire, which is what they did.”

Mourinho went on to reiterate the togetherness of his squad and praised his players for their physical commitment to earning an important win.

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Jose Mourinho says his Tottenham players showed their fighting spirit after securing a 2-1 win against Norwich, despite their limited attacking options
Jose Mourinho says his Tottenham players showed their fighting spirit after securing a 2-1 win against Norwich, despite their limited attacking options

“The team fight because the team want to do well,” he said. “They know the situation isn’t easy. The team knows in this moment every point is a point that helps you in the table, every victory makes you close some gaps, every defeat makes you go away from your objectives.

“Every player that was here on the pitch, on the bench, the ones not selected… it’s really, really a very good group. It’s a pleasure to be with them, to work with them and try to help them in such a difficult season for them since the beginning of the season.

“Today is a good feeling. The 1-1 was a bit scary for everybody connected with us. We don’t want to lose points today but the reaction was very good and I saw players really tired going over their limits to try to give us the points. So, happy dressing room.”

Tottenham's unity was key on Wednesday, says Mourinho
Tottenham’s unity was key on Wednesday, says Mourinho

Mourinho’s on Winks injury, Lloris return

Harry Winks limped out of Spurs’ win after attempting to block a Todd Cantwell shot and being kicked in the lower leg, but should be out for “weeks not months”, according to Mourinho.

There was better news with a surprise return to the starting XI for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who had been out since October 5 with a dislocated elbow, but Mourinho admitted including the Frenchman at the expense of Paulo Gazzaniga had not been a straightforward call.

“The return of Hugo is a mix of emotions for me,” said Mourinho. “It’s a happiness to see one of the best goalkeepers in the world back. It is a very good feeling for us.

“But at same time it is one of the decisions that we must have but hurt. To leave Paulo out hurt. The good thing is he is such a good member of the family and such a special friend of Hugo he also shared our happiness to have Hugo back as a friend.

“He gave me a lot of thinking and I had to try to be cold to make a decision without emotions because to leave Paulo out was not a simple decision.”

No comment on striker links

Mourinho refused to be drawn on links with Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose, however, with the club in discussions with their counterparts in Spain over a potential January move for the Brazilian.

He said: “He’s a Real Sociedad player. I don’t comment on players from other clubs. I can only speak about my players. I think it’s a question of respect to the coaches and the clubs where the players belong.”

Read more on Tottenham’s pursuit of Jose here.

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Source : Sky Sports