EPL

Spurs suffering with sadness and lacking self-esteem – Mourinho

By Sports Desk January 31, 2021

Jose Mourinho claimed his Tottenham team showed a "sadness" in their 1-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Spurs suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats as Leandro Trossard's well-crafted early goal proved decisive at the AMEX Stadium.

It was Brighton's first home league win of the campaign – and their first since June – while Tottenham have lost four of their last eight top-flight matches, as many defeats as they had suffered across their previous 28 games in the division.

Talisman Harry Kane was missing due to an injury sustained in Thursday's reverse to Liverpool, and Spurs have won just three of their last 13 Premier League games in which the England captain has not featured (D4 L6), including none of their last four (D1 L3).

A dismal first-half showing saw Tottenham manage just one attempt, the 11th occasion a Mourinho side has had one shot or fewer in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game, and the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss accepted his team started with a lack of intensity.

"I agree with that," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "We didn't start well and the team was a bit sad, my feeling was the team was a bit sad.

"To concede a goal early brought even more sadness and lack of self-esteem, the team was suffering. The second half was different. The chances they had were the chances of a team that was trying everything.

"I saw people trying really hard, I saw some individuals with fatigue but trying hard. The defeat of course is always a bad feeling, but I leave with a positive feeling for my boys which is a good thing for me."

Indeed, Mourinho – who has lost all three of his league visits to Brighton – went as far as to say his side deserved more than they got from the match, despite mustering only eight attempts compared to the hosts' 16, with only substitute Carlos Vinicius truly testing Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

"The last 25, 30 minutes I saw a team ready to give everything, gamble everything and finish the way we finished," he added.

"Probably the boys deserved more than we got. I go with the positive feeling for my boys because in the last 30 minutes they showed they wanted everything but defeat."

In Kane's absence, Son Heung-min filled in up top, with Gareth Bale handed a rare start on the right, but the duo failed to link up to much effect, the latter creating only one chance before he was subbed off just after the hour.

"We tried to start with a team that could try to give Sonny the same dynamic that he is used to," Mourinho explained.

"There is no replacement for Harry but we tried to have Bale going into those positions to connect with Son, and we were not successful, but I'm not speaking about Bale, I am speaking about us.

"Vinicius is a different player, we tried to change the target point. He brought us energy, new problems to the opponent. The team improved."

Related items

  • Trincao returns to Barcelona as Wolves opt against triggering option Trincao returns to Barcelona as Wolves opt against triggering option

    Francisco Trincao has returned to Barcelona after Wolves opted against triggering their purchase option.

    The 22-year-old winger joined Wolves on loan last July, reportedly paying £5.1million (€5.9m) to borrow him for the season.

    As part of the deal, Wolves secured an option to buy the Portugal international for £25million (€29m) at the end of the loan, but that rarely looked a realistic outcome.

    Trincao featured 28 times for Wolves in the Premier League, though only 16 of those appearances were as a starter, and he had a hand in just four goals.

    Despite Wolves letting Trincao return to Barcelona, they will – according to a report published on Sunday by the West Midlands-based Express and Star – receive 20 per cent of his next transfer fee.

    He heads back to Barca with his future at Camp Nou unclear, as the club are keen to offload deadwood amid something of a financial crisis.

    Barca reportedly spent €31million in January 2020 to bring Trincao to the club from Sporting Braga, but his impact has been largely minimal.

  • Wimbledon: Sinner labels Alcaraz triumph one of his best after sinking Spanish star's hopes Wimbledon: Sinner labels Alcaraz triumph one of his best after sinking Spanish star's hopes

    Jannik Sinner said his win over Carlos Alcaraz ranked among the highlights of his young career after reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals with an impressive 6-1 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 victory.

    The 20-year-old Italian converted his sixth match point of an enthralling encounter on Centre Court to reach his third grand slam quarter-final.

    The contest had been billed as a clash between two of the sport's future superstars, with their combined age the lowest in a fourth-round grand slam match since Juan Martin del Potro faced Kei Nishikori at the 2008 US Open.

    At 19 years and 66 days old, Alcaraz had become the youngest male player to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon since 2011, and Sinner was keen to credit his opponent after a battle which lasted three hours and 35 minutes.

    "First of all, Carlos is a very tough opponent and a very nice person, so it's always a huge pleasure for me to play against him," Sinner said.

    "Today was such a great crowd and especially today, 100 years [since Centre Court opened]… it's just amazing.

    "It's tough when you have match point and you still have to play. It's part of the game, part of tennis, and obviously I'm very happy with how I reacted.

    "I'm very happy to be in the next round, and hopefully I can play some good tennis also in the next round."

    Sinner, who boasts a 5-0 record against Spanish players in 2022, was asked where the triumph ranked among the best moments of his career.

    He said: "In the top list, for sure. I didn't expect it because I was not playing so well on the grass.

    "Then match after match I was better, I won my first grass-court match here in the first round, and now I'm here in the quarter-finals. I tried to adapt myself and the crowd helps me a lot."

    Sinner had previously lost four fourth-round meetings with top-10 players at grand slams, being beaten by Alexander Zverev at the 2020 French Open and 2021 US Open, Rafael Nadal at the 2021 French Open, and Andrey Rublev at Roland Garros last month.

    Sinner also improved his 2022 record against top-10 opponents to 2-5 with the victory, with his only previous win coming against Rublev at the Monte Carlo Masters.

  • India recover from Bairstow century to build commanding third-day lead over England India recover from Bairstow century to build commanding third-day lead over England

    India recovered from Jonny Bairstow clinching yet another century to finish an eventful third day of the fourth Test against England with a healthy 257-run lead.

    Bairstow led a fine England counter in a thrilling morning session, bringing up his third century in as many Tests as the hosts looked to make up for a poor start to their first innings.

    But after Bairstow's team-mates toiled in being bowled out for 284, India recovered from the early loss of Shubman Gill to reach 125-3 by close of play, leaving the hosts with it all to do on day four. 

    The hosts enjoyed some good fortune upon resuming, with skipper Ben Stokes (25-36) being dropped in inexplicable fashion by Jasprit Bumrah before gifting the visiting captain a catch with an identical shot off the very next ball.

    As has often been the case since Brendon McCullum took charge, England were left to rely on the brilliant Bairstow, who dragged them into contention by bringing up his century – the 11th of his Test career - off 119 balls shortly after lunch.

    But their momentum dissipated when Mohammed Shami had him caught for 106 off 140 to reduce England to 241-7, before Mohammed Siraj dismissed Stuart Broad (1-5) in the very next over and finished the innings 4-66 after accounting for Sam Billings (36-57) and Matthew Potts (19-18).

    Needing a fast start to have any hope of teeing up another successful chase, England were boosted when James Anderson had Gill (4-3) caught at slip, his fourth Test dismissal of the India opener.

    Broad and Stokes then claimed a wicket apiece as Hanuma Vihari (11-44) and the out-of-form Virat Kohli (20-44) were felled, before Cheteshwar Pujara bought up a slow half-century off 139 balls. 

    He and Rishabh Pant (30 not out) were then content to see the day out in quiet fashion, with England now requiring wickets to fall quickly on Monday.

    Brilliant Bairstow drags England into contention

    The pressure was on when England resumed on Sunday, and Bairstow – so often the key man in the early days of McCullum's red-ball revolution, stepped up after a bout of sledging from Kohli.

    In recording his first century against India in Test cricket, Bairstow went from 13 off 61 balls to 100 off 119, going up through the gears in rapid fashion when England needed him most.

    Siraj halts hosts' progress

    With England having recovered from 84-5 to 241-7 by Bairstow's dismissal, India could have been forgiven for thinking back to the way McCullum's men conducted three successful chases of over 250 against New Zealand in their recent series whitewash.

    But Siraj stepped up to claim a four-wicket haul as India held off their hosts, leaving England requiring something special to level the series at 2-2.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.