Jose Mourinho swerved questions about signing Gareth Bale and then refused to explain why Dele Alli’s form had dipped prior to his arrival in north London.
Mourinho was back on the touchline 352 days after his sacking at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, but suffered his first defeat in charge of Tottenham after Marcus Rashford’s brace.
Rashford scored in the sixth minute and then slotted home a second-half penalty to earn a 2-1 win and ease the pressure on Mourinho’s successor, who had overseen their worst start to a season since 1988.
Mourinho would have fancied a win after Dele Alli’s brilliant equaliser just before the break, but his side were second best.
Afterwards he was asked what he thought of Gareth Bale saying that Mourinho can get Tottenham winning again.
Mourinho replied: “It is nice, I thank him. I didn’t know. If Gareth said that I would like to thank him.”
Would you like him at Tottenham? Mourinho replied: “Come on, I don’t need to answer.”
Asked to talk through Alli’s brilliant goal, Mourinho said: “He’s playing well, what can I say, he played well before me, it’s not like I’m teaching him how to play football.
“He was fantastic when he arrived from MK Dons, he was fantastic for club and the national team. He had a difficult period, don’t ask me why because for the majority I don’t know and what I do know I won’t share with you.
“I’ve just tried to play him in a position that suits him and also to give him more space for his creativity and intelligence. He is playing well, he is working well, he is scoring goals. I can’t ask for more from him.”
Mourinho also dismissed talk of any animosity between himself and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“There is no problem, what’s the problem. I have nothing against him, I think he has nothing against me, that is just that, why should we have any problem,” he added.