Jose Mourinho pinpointed the key reason why he ‘knew’ his Tottenham team could inflict a costly defeat on Champions League-chasing Leicester.
A James Justin own goal and brace from Harry Kane were the difference as Tottenham downed Leicester 3-0 at home.
The victory came despite Mourinho’s men achieving their lowest percentage of posession (29.5%) in a Premier League game since September, 2012.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho said: “I think we were strategically good. We knew what worked for us.
“Brendan Rodgers did an amazing job since he arrived but in this moment he is in a little bit of trouble with injuries. I know what it is because I had similar problems at the other end.
“He is trying to compensate with the people he lost so we knew that in transition we could win the game. We tried to be very fast after recovering the ball.
“We did that very well in the first half and in the second half it was about being compact and getting the result.
“You always need your goalkeeper to make a couple of important saves which he did but we were phenomenal. They had a lot of corners and we defended well. I felt very comfortable in the game.
“It was very important the way we ended. The long break is not so open like a pre-season hopefully is. But it was good enough for us and the players to feel that with work and time we could improve.
“Clearly we are one of the teams with more points during this period than after the break. Now we have to fight to finish sixth. We have to win and that is difficult and wait for something in our other opponents.
“Seventh is what we can achieve without dependance on the others. What we are doing and what we are improving is very important for next season.”
Regarding the contributions and ability of his talismanic number nine, Mourinho added: “It is difficult for me to compare strikers but I had almost in every club some of the best. Of course, Harry is second to none. It’s just different qualities. As a striker, as a goalscorer, a team player and a leader, he is fantastic.
“It is difficult to make him better but the better the team is, the better he can be. It depends more on us. He is an amazing professional and works very well. He cannot play any better. He is a fantastic striker and Tottenham is so lucky to have him.”
Tottenham’s hero of the day came in the form of Harry Kane – himself experiencing a mini revival over the last few weeks.
Defending his manager despite criticism since his arrival, Kane said of Mourinho: “It was hard for him [Jose Mourinho] to come in and put his stamp on things but we have been able to do that in the last three wins.
“It’s just one of those teams I seem to score a few against. We caught them on the break today and once we got ahead we just steadied the ship. The clean sheet was great.”
On his second goal: “The ball got away from me to begin with so I looked to try and cut in and get the shot away. Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t. Luckily today it did.”