Jose Mourinho says he feels no pressure to get a positive Europa League result against Wolfsberger on Thursday night despite Tottenham’s recent poor run of form.
Spurs travel to Austria for the first leg of their round-of-32 encounter having won one of their last six games in all competitions.
Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester City saw Spurs slip to ninth in the table, not only 17 points behind league leaders City but also six adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.
However, Mourinho is remaining calm and believes it is not pressure to win the tournament in order to claim a backdoor into the Champions League next season that is driving him on.
“I don’t feel any pressure. It is about responsibility, ambition and motivation – not about pressure,” Mourinho said.
“That is a completely different thing and is much better than pressure.
“I spoke to the players today about it and we will speak again tonight in the meeting before dinner.
“It’s a very long competition, and for us, it will be the 10th match we will have played in the Europa League which is crazy as we’re not even at the half-way stage yet.
“So for all these reasons it’s a very difficult competition to win but is a competition we must have the ambition and the motivation to win as well as the responsibility to go with a strong team to get an important result.”
Jamie Carragher assesses what has gone wrong for Tottenham, while Gary Neville looks at how Jose Mourinho could yet turn it all around.
“They are on a run of losing four out of five Premier League games and have just gone out of the FA Cup,” Carragher told Monday Night Football.
“Jose Mourinho is a manager brought in to get results and if he does not get results there is not much behind it in terms of the spectacle or how they play. At times, we have lauded it. He is a results manager. And at this moment he is not getting results.
“It is fair to say that the top managers in Europe play a proactive game. Jose Mourinho is reactive. The top teams take calculated risks. Jose is risk-averse.
“What really stood out for me was watching Chelsea go to Tottenham and how they set up. This was Thomas Tuchel’s third game in charge. Jose has been there 12 months.
“And Jose played that game to stop them.
“Going into that game, Chelsea were behind Tottenham and Tottenham were at home. It almost summed up the way we see managers right now and where Jose is.”
As Harry Kane enters his peak footballing years, the Pitch to Post Review show panel ask: should he leave Tottenham?
Kane, who turns 28 in the summer, is yet to win a major trophy at Spurs, though Jose Mourinho’s side do face Manchester City in April’s Carabao Cup final as they look to end a 13-year wait for silverware.
But Kane’s future is under the spotlight again after failing to register a single touch in the opponent’s box in the 3-0 defeat by Manchester City on Saturday.
Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp said after the game: “That is not what players of the class of Harry Kane and Son want to be associated with. Harry Kane must be thinking: ‘If I played in that City side, how many goals would I get? How many chances? How many touches in the box?’.
“Harry Kane must look at that and think: ‘I want touches, I want to be the main man, not just taking free-kicks!’. He won’t be happy doing that.”