Jose Mourinho maintains that he is proud of his Tottenham team despite their 1-0 loss to Premier League leaders Liverpool, stating that Spurs “tried everything” against a side that he believes to be the best on the planet.
A classic Mourinho approach was put into action for much of Spurs’ home clash with the Reds, with the champions elect restricted to just one goal throughout the 90 minutes in north London – though Robert Firmino’s strike was enough to clinch all three points.
The hosts had gone into the clash without striking talisman Harry Kane due to a ruptured tendon in the left hamstring and Mourinho went on to rue his lack of attacking options while also pointing at his opponents’ huge strength in depth.
“I think we tried everything,” the Portuguese told the press after the match. “We are speaking about probably the best team in the world at the maximum of its potential.
“Even in conditions [where they had] to play a big FA Cup match with a second team – and we are a team with the difficulties you know [about].
“In spite of that, I think we deserved more than what we got. I have only reasons to be proud of the players.”
The introduction of Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso, in particular, seemed to transform Spurs in the final 20 minutes of Saturday’s match-up, with the latter heading up a late push for an equaliser and perhaps unlucky not to get one after creating several chances.
And while Mourinho is well known for his defensive approaches to matches, he did hint at a more exciting – and consistent – brand of football from his new squad once they better come to terms with his methods.
“Liverpool has worked with this coach for about five years,” he went on. “The players are totally adapted physically to the football that he wants to play.
“And this is a very, very important thing because sometimes when people speak about physical condition the important thing in football is that the physical condition in adapted to the way the team wants to play. And they are.
“If we try to play the way we did in the last 20 minutes, if we tried to play that way from the beginning, I think we would collapse.”