Jose Mourinho reveals he is out to win the Europa League as the Tottenham boss fires up his stars for their final two games and secure qualification for Europe next season
- Jose Mourinho is out to win the Europa League should Tottenham qualify for it
- Mourinho is trying to keep his players focused for their final two league matches
- The Europa League – a long slog of a tournament – remains a much harder sell
- However, Mourinho is committed to winning the competition as a manager again
Jose Mourinho has no concerns about his Europa League motivation message to his players coming back to bite him next season.
Mourinho is trying to keep his players focused for their final matches against Leicester and Crystal Palace by telling them victories in both will secure the 2021 Europa League trophy.
Tottenham can no longer qualify for the Champions League and the Europa League — a long slog of a tournament — remains a much harder sell to players.
Jose Mourinho is out to win the Europa League should his Tottenham team qualify for it
But Mourinho is trying to put a positive spin on being in Europe’s secondary competition by encouraging his stars to focus on the end goal.
It could be interpreted as over-confidence and critics will be quick to remind him of it if Spurs come up short. But he said: ‘I don’t care what you bring up and don’t bring up. I just want to motivate my players, and myself too.
‘I could think the Europa League will be a group phase — I don’t want to say countries’ names or clubs because it would be disrespectful — with some countries where you have to travel eight or nine hours for a match.
‘And I could think of it as some matches at home in the best stadium in the world, if Boris Johnson allows, some spectators but not the full emotion of a big Champions League match.
Mourinho won the Europa League as Manchester United manager and is out to win it again
‘I have won the Champions League before. The majority of my players have played in the Champions League final before. Others, they did not win it but they were constantly playing at the Champions League level. So we need to motivate ourselves.
‘I don’t want my players to be disappointed with the fact we don’t play Champions League. I want my players relaxed because they had a big target. This is a way to motivate the troops. If they think, “Oh, next year I have to play in the Europa League! There could be a qualification in the middle of September! I don’t want to do that”.
‘But if we say, “Come on, next season we are going to win the Europa League” — that is a different feeling. So I talk about this extreme situation. It’s just an expression of motivation.’
Mourinho could also not resist another swipe at Manchester City after their Champions League ban for FFP irregularities was overturned. Trying to reclaim Champions League status will be Spurs’ main focus, of course.
Mourinho also couldn’t resist at taking a swipe at Man City after they escaped their ban
Asked how they will do it, Mourinho said: ‘For some clubs it is easy. You break the rules, forget about financial fair play, spend what you want and get the good players. Easy. For some it’s more difficult. You want to follow the rules. You don’t want to be seen breaking the rules and not playing a fair competition. For this profile of club the situation is more complicated.’
Hinting at the sort of transfer window Spurs are preparing for he said they will have to ‘analyse the market opportunities, analyse the clubs that are willing to sell, to analyse the players in the end of his contract or the last year of his contract and where the club is ready to try to have some kind of creative deals. That is different, so I know exactly what we need.’
World Cup winner Andre Schurrle has retired at 29. The former Chelsea, Fulham, Bayer Leverkusen and Germany midfielder has agreed to cancel his Borussia Dortmund contract which still had a year to run.