Jose Mourinho issued a strong rejection of the “Spursy” tag that has lingered over Tottenham after their failure to hold on to all three points against West Ham.
Tottenham were winning 3-0 against West Ham with 10 minutes to go in their most recent Premier League match, but capitulated as their opponents got three late goals to snatch a draw.
It has dampened the mood around Tottenham, who had been in good spirits after thrashing Manchester United before the international break.
They have the chance to get back to winning ways when they take on LASK in the Europa League on Thursday. And Mourinho is keen to move on from any criticisms of their collapse at the weekend, and the negative connotations of the ‘Spursy’ term overall.
He said: “That denomination is not important for me. The past is not important for me. The future is of course important for me.
“What can I say? We’re a team in evolution. I believe that nobody has played better than us with the ball, which is a big evolution from us last season.
“We are a very exciting to watch, I believe, and that is very important. That’s the DNA we want to have. Is that enough to win football matches? No and you have the proof – we have only eight points when we played so amazing in every match apart from against Everton.
“Southampton, Man United, Newcastle, West Ham – we played amazing football and this is very difficult to do. We are doing that but of course we need to paly for a result and we have to learn how to do it.
“To be honest what happened is a little bit out of context of what happened this season because against Southampton we were losing and were strong enough to change the result, against Man Utd the worst thing happened to us which was after one minute we were losing and we were strong enough to change that result.
“Against Newcastle we were solid, playing amazing and then what happened is one of the beauties of the VAR decision. So this game was completely out of context.
“I believe that winning 3-0 in minute 80 we can play 50 more matches and it’s not going to happen again so I don’t want to be sticking on this and no stories about ‘Spursy’ and this kind of thing.
“We just need to defend better from set pieces. We’ve conceded just one goal from open play against Southampton.”
Looking ahead to the challenge of LASK, Mourinho confirmed that Davinson Sanchez – who scored an own goal against West Ham – will start the game.
“The only player I can confirm is starting is Davinson Sanchez, who will be at the press conference. The only thing I ask is that you don’t ask him about his amazing goal on Sunday.
“Apart from Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga, we have everyone available apart from the players left out of the list.”
Another defender who will be competing for a place in future weeks – although not in the Europa League – is Joe Rodon.
Spurs signed the 22-year-old from Swansea earlier this month, and Mourinho shed more light on why they wanted him.
“We got him because we can see a future for him. Let’s work and let’s see the evolution and step by step he will be there.”
Mourinho explains Rose situation
One player who will not be travelling with Tottenham for their clash with LASK is Danny Rose, who has been left out of their squads for the Europa League and Premier League.
Rose, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle, did not manage to secure a permanent exit from Tottenham this summer, and does not feature in Mourinho’s plans.
Reports have since emerged suggesting that Tottenham could terminate Rose’s contract to get him off the wage bill. His current contract is due to expire at the end of the season, but they could pay him off to let him leave early.
The Portuguese coach has now explained the situation surrounding Rose.
“Danny is not part of our squad,” he said. “Danny wanted very, very much to leave in the January window last season. Why? Because he wanted to play and play and play.
“Then he went to Newcastle and I immediately had the feeling of being a player of his dimension that, thinking about Euros, I thought our future would be Davies and Sessegnon. Then we had the possibility to get Reguilon and I thought that would be a good opportunity for Ryan to get game time and develop.
“With Danny, the players and agents make the market. If the agent didn’t find a solution for Danny to move then it’s a question you have to ask him.”