Mourinho lays blame for persistent Tottenham issue at players’ door

Date published: Sunday 4th April 2021 4:39 - Steve Pearson


Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho put the blame for his side’s inability to maintain another lead firmly at the feet of his players.

Tottenham spurned the chance to go fourth after a late Joe Willock equaliser ensured both sides had to settle for a draw. Newcastle had taken the lead after Joelinton finished off an attack created by Spurs’ errant attempts to clear their lines.

The irrepressible Harry Kane bagged a brace to put his side in front going into the break, but neither he nor his fellow forwards could then find the killer blow.

Speaking to the BBC after the match, Mourinho said: “I am frustrated. We needed to win the match and we came to win. We were not far from winning it but, at the same time, we created some instability on the game with so many individual defensive mistakes that we made. We always gave Newcastle a chance to be in the game.

“Of course, we had the biggest chance of the game to make it 3-1 and kill it, then we concede a game the next minute.”

FULL MATCH REPORT: Spirited Newcastle show grit as Tottenham see top four hopes slip late

When quizzed on why his side have struggled to maintain leads this season, Mourinho quipped: “Same coach, different players.”

Asked if he has more work to do with the Spurs’ players, Mourinho added: “I don’t think so. We work well, we work hard. But there are mistakes which I probably shouldn’t even call mistakes because they are related to qualities that players have.

“Looking at the second goal, it’s easy to understand because there’s three different moments – the cross, the ball at the far post where they won it, and then the ball in the face of the goal where our two centre-backs were in position. You can analyse it easily.”


Kane responds to nagging Tottenham issue


Tottenham striker Kane also spoke to the press, and opened up to the BBC about the persistent issue his side have experienced this season.

Willock’s late goal ensured Tottenham dropped their 11th point from goals conceded in the final 10 minutes of matches this year – the most of any Premier League side.

“Whenever you are ahead in a game, as we have been a lot this season, and you give the lead away in the last 5-10 minutes, it’s always hard to take,” said Kane.

“I feel like we could have played better in the second half. We were a bit sloppy. We didn’t take our chances and got punished for it.

“I think we had some good chances. The final ball, final pass or final touch weren’t quite there. That’s the fine margins. We need to play better. We need to dust ourselves off and go again next week.

“Their goal woke us up a little bit if I’m being honest. We reacted really well and scored two quick goals then finished the half well.

“We didn’t take that momentum with us [into the second half] and allowed Newcastle back into the game. It’s always hard to respond with four or five minutes to go.”


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