Jose Mourinho is hoping he can improve on his fine record in the Europa League after making it clear he wants to win the trophy for Tottenham this season.
Spurs kick-off their Group J campaign against Austrian side LASK in north London on Thursday evening. The game is a chance for Mourinho’s men to get off on the right foot. It’s also a good chance to put the 3-3 draw with West Ham behind them.
It is the third time Mourinho is managing a side in the competition. Having won it twice previously, the Portuguese is clear in his aims to claim a hat-trick.
“We’re going to try,” he said. “It’s the third time I played the competition. The other two times, one with Porto and one with (Manchester) United, we managed to win it.
“So the record in the Europa League is great, never knocked out. Of course, lost a few matches in the group phase but managed always to win it.”
Looking ahead to the challenge of LASK, Mourinho confirmed that Davinson Sanchez – who scored an own goal against West Ham – will start.
“The only player I can confirm is starting is Davinson Sanchez. 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 Danny Rose situation
One player who will not be travelling with Tottenham for their clash with LASK is Danny Rose. He 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.”