Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mourinho: Century of goals ´not bad´ for ´very negative´ Tottenham

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Mar 2021

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Jose Mourinho will not worry too much about the race for Champions League qualification and prefers to focus on enjoying moments in the season, such as reaching 100 goals with his “very negative” Tottenham.

Spurs beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in the Premier League on Sunday to climb to sixth in the table, albeit with seventh-placed West Ham set to play on Monday.

The fourth goal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Harry Kane’s second, was the 100th Tottenham have scored in all competitions this term.

Only European and world champions Bayern Munich (106) have previously passed this mark across Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues in 2020-21.

That achievement was one aspect Mourinho chose to focus on when asked about his side’s chances of climbing into the top four, occupied by Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester City and Chelsea on Sunday night.

“We have just to try to get the best number of points we can, try to win the most matches we can and the most number of points that is possible,” he said.

“If possible playing well, if possible scoring goals, if possible not conceding many, and try to see what can happen.

“I don’t forget the Europa League, I refuse to forget. I refuse just to say Thursday is not important because for me it is important.

“The cup [EFL Cup] final is there waiting for us but still a couple of months.

“We just have to work, to work hard, stick together, go through the difficult moments like we did already, try to enjoy the good moments but enjoy in a soft way because we know how difficult it is going to be next.

“For us, in the Premier League next is Arsenal away, Aston Villa away, Newcastle away. This is what is waiting for us around the corner.

“We try to be happy when we can. Today we can after three victories in the same week.

“If the stats I was given are correct, 100 goals scored in the season, which for a very defensive team, for a very negative team, is not bad.”

Mourinho was apparently referring to criticism of his style of play, but Tottenham thrilled the neutral in their latest victory.

Kane was involved in all four home goals, the first two of which were scored by Gareth Bale, who has six in his past six games in all competitions.

The depth of Mourinho’s attacking options was on show as Son Heung-min teed up Kane’s second and Lucas Moura provided a nuisance factor, contesting 23 duels and winning three fouls. Dele Alli did not even make it off the bench.

Next for Tottenham is the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie with Dinamo Zagreb, at home on Thursday when Mourinho will hope to see more positive forward play.

Mourinho said: “We are a team with a lot of talent in these areas.

“This Gareth is an extra for us. This Gareth didn’t start the season. This Gareth is playing this way for a couple of months and of course the quality is amazing. He’s a fantastic player.”

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