Jose Mourinho has named two surprise contenders to finish in the top four this season and has taken an indirect pop at former club Manchester United by refusing to acknowledge the Red Devils as a rival for Tottenham this season.
Mourinho succeeded the sacked Mauricio Pochettino back in November and quickly made clear his ambitions after taking charge of the north London giants.
Ten wins in his first 19 matches in charge have rejuvenated Tottenham, who are now just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and are through to the FA Cup fifth round and the last-16 of the Champions League.
But Spurs are actually two points behind the ever-impressive Sheffield United in the Premier League table, with Spurs sandwiched in a group of teams that includes Wolves, the resurgent Everton and United – with only six points separating Chelsea in fourth to Wolves in ninth.
And Mourinho reckons surprise packages Sheffield United and Wolves are both contenders to secure top-four finishes this season as he ran the rule over Tottenham’s main rivals for the conveted fourth and final Champions League place.
“Wolves and Sheffield United are fighting for the top four, [the managers] can say no, I understand if they say no, but the reality is that they are. Not just because of the position that they are in the table, it is because of the power and quality,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“They arrive in this situation wherein the eyes of everybody [else], they should be more than happy – they are not more than happy.
“Wolves bought an important player to try and improve their situation.
“Sheffield United bought an important player [Sander Berge] and beat their record in the market to try to improve their team.”
After again refusing to recognise United as a challenger, despite of their huge outlay to sign Bruno Fernandes last month, Mourinho continued: “It’s not just about Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton. It’s not just about us.
“These two clubs I have to say… fantastic.”