Jose Mourinho has set his sights on winning a fourth Premier League title with Tottenham – but accepts it will only be next season when his side will be strong enough to challenge.
Mourinho has taken over from Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs following the Argentinian’s ruthless sacking earlier this week and was unveiled at a packed press conference on Thursday.
The Portuguese firebrand arrives in north London having won more Premier League titles than any serving manager after three previous successes in his two spells with Chelsea.
But the 56-year-old inherits a squad that is currently 14th in the table and one that, even if it were not under-performing so drastically this term, appears a long way behind Liverpool and Manchester City.
Mourinho, back in work after a tough spell at Manchester United ended 11 months ago, is enthusiastic about the group of players he will work with, though, and has backed them to be title contenders next season.
“We cannot win the Premier League this season,” he said. “We can – I’m not saying we will do – we can win it next season.”
Such is his contentment with the players at his disposal, Mourinho – often branded a chequebook manager by critics – insists he will not need to make signings in January after revealing he tried to sign some of the Spurs squad in previous roles.
“I don’t need players. I am so happy with what I have,” he said.
“I just need time to understand them better and know everything about them because I always say you only know a player when you work with them.
“Of course, how many times have I watched these guys, how many times have I played against them?
“I knew them well but you never know them well enough until you work with them and my gift is this squad because the squad is very, very good.
“I told them that one of the reasons why I decided to come was them.
“I tried to buy some of them for different clubs and I couldn’t. Some of them I didn’t even try because you know how impossible it is.
“But I like this squad very, very much. I like the players very, very much.
“It’s not something new that I said that. It’s not like, ‘Ok, now you are their manager you are saying that because you want to look nice’. That’s not the point.”