Jose Mourinho has told his Tottenham players that showing the right attitude is "not negotiable" as he looks to create a stronger sense of unity within the squad.

Mourinho accused his players of a lack of desire in a 3-1 Premier League loss to Sheffield United and claimed the sight of his team being beaten through a basic will to win "destroys me a little bit on the inside".

Monday's 1-0 victory over Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium included a clash between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min shortly before half-time, in which team-mates had to keep them apart, although Mourinho insisted he was "very happy" to see such a level of passion.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's game against relegation-threatened Bournemouth, the Spurs boss says he has made it clear to his players that such displays of character are essential to "winning teams".

"I always say that in winning teams, and I told the players that I can speak about winning teams because I belong to some of them, that there are things that are not negotiable," Mourinho said.

"What is not negotiable is a certain attitude, soul, DNA, character. Then you can, in a better day or not, face an opponent who makes it easier or difficult for you.

"[There is] unpredictability in football games, sometimes you deserve to win and sometimes you don't, but some things are not negotiable. Character: being demanding with yourself, with each other. Sometimes [you must] be an external source of motivation for the guy who plays in the same team as you. That leads many times to disagreement, discussion, but I think it's a really, really important thing.

"So, I was very happy with the team attitude during the game. Of course, I would prefer the little discussion to happen inside the dressing room, not outside - people can interpret [it] a different way. But I think it was a new thing in the team, a thing players do more times internally, be demanding with each other and grow up together."

Part of the problem in modern sides, according to Mourinho, is it is too easy for players to isolate themselves on social media or using games consoles even when staying at team hotels.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss is determined to improve the communication between his Spurs stars, although he insists that will not involve lectures on his part.

"If I think overall, comparing examples of my time as assistant coach, Barcelona, Porto, 25 years ago or so, the players they used to be together all the time," he said.

"No Xbox, PlayStation, social media. Quite the beginning of mobile phones. But players used to spend all the time together. Even when you go to hotels, together all the time, [it is] much easier to develop intimacy, trust, build a certain dynamic in the group.

"In a hotel, every player has his own bedroom, they go there, they are not alone, they are on Zoom, FaceTime, they are on social media 'together' playing some Xbox or PlayStation, but they don't need to share the same space. Just a society thing - the interaction is different. But probably at a personality level, you don't get same kind of communication that you had.

"We need to stimulate it all the time, not to be closed in their own shell. It's a team effort, team group, team sport - you don't play alone. A team has to be more than the sum of the individuals. You need to interact, communicate, share ideas. You need to discuss what happened in the game, need to motivate each other. I believe this; I believe there are some managers that don't do that.

"I am upset with silence. I hate the silence in a dressing room, in a meeting, I hate monologues, I don't like to be in front of the players, speaking for 20 minutes without interaction. Something I stimulate, my way of being, my way of leading. My team the other day showed me the other day they need to improve at that level."

The on-field incident between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min during Tottenham's win over Everton showed the desire within the team to do better, according to Lucas Moura.

Captain Lloris and forward Son were involved in a disagreement as the players left the field at half-time in Monday's Premier League fixture, though the former insisted after the game there was no problem between the pair.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho described it as "beautiful" in his post-match interview following the 1-0 triumph, with Lucas insisting such occurrences are "completely normal" within most sides.

The Brazilian forward also believes the bust-up - Lloris revealed after the final whistle he had taken issue with his team-mate for failing to track back with Everton's Richarlison - is a positive sign as Tottenham aim to make a late charge to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"It's completely normal in a team," Lucas told Sky Sports when asked about the disagreement between his colleagues. "I think every team has this. 

"It shows that we want to win, we want to be in a better position. 

"We know that we can do better, we know our quality. 

"When we get angry with each other on the pitch, it's to show that we can do better." 

The narrow home victory over Everton lifted Spurs up to eighth in the table, though they still face an almighty task to climb into the top four with only five games remaining.

However, fifth place - currently occupied by Manchester United - could yet be enough to get Champions League football, depending on the verdict of Manchester City's hearing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"We still have five games to play and we still have the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League," Lucas said ahead of Thursday's trip to relegation-threatened Bournemouth.

"We know it's very, very difficult, but it's not impossible. We know, in football, anything can happen. 

"If we qualify for the Europa League, it's not our objective because we want Champions League but it is also a beautiful competition." 

Hugo Lloris insisted there was no problem between him and Son Heung-min after the Tottenham team-mates clashed during Monday's win over Everton.

The duo were involved in a flare-up at half-time of Spurs' scrappy 1-0 triumph, which marked head coach Jose Mourinho's 200th Premier League victory.

Captain Lloris admitted the incident, which happened as the players made their way off the pitch, related to Son's failure to track back as Richarlison went close to scoring for the Toffees.

France goalkeeper Lloris suggested there was nothing serious to it, with the pair embracing at full-time.

"It just belongs to the changing room – outside you can say whatever you want," he told Sky Sports.

"What happened between me and Sonny is part of football sometimes. There's no problem. At the end of the game you could see we were more than happy.

"[It was related to] a chance [for Richarlison] a few seconds before half-time. But it's part of football – we move on."

Mourinho felt the incident, which he curiously described as "beautiful", was a manifestation of his desire to see his players be "more demanding of each other".

"It's beautiful. It's probably as a consequence of our meetings," he said.

"If you want to blame someone for that, it's me. I was critical of my boys – they were not critical enough with themselves. I asked them to be more demanding of each other.

"Son is an amazing kid, everybody likes Son but the captain told him you have to do more and give more to the team.

"It's something needed for the team to grow up – to grow up you need big personalities. When you have that reaction I had no doubts."

Michael Keane's first-half own goal proved the difference as Spurs bounced back from their 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United last time out.

The win leaves them seven points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and nine adrift of the top four in their pursuit of Champions League football and Mourinho knows his side must improve on Monday's display.

"It was not an artistic performance," he said. "Hugo didn't have to make great saves. Richarlison and [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin are a couple of the best strikers in England and we controlled them very well.

"We were speaking a lot about our attitude. The way we played against Sheffield United, someone in front who doesn't know we are fighting for a European place probably thinks we're a mid-table team.

"Today we tried to score more goals and had couple of chances with Son that could have killed the game."

Jose Mourinho hit back at Arsenal after they appeared to mock Tottenham following their loss to Sheffield United.

Spurs were beaten 3-1 at Bramall Lane on Thursday and Arsenal seemingly took the chance to poke fun at their rivals.

In a post on Facebook, Arsenal posted highlights of their FA Cup win at Sheffield last month with the caption: "It's not easy beating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Here's a reminder of how it's done."

Mikel Arteta's men are seventh in the Premier League, four points ahead of 10th-placed Spurs, and Mourinho slammed Arsenal for the post.

"If they were top of the league or fighting for top four and in a really good moment, they wouldn't enjoy the problems of others," the Spurs head coach said.

"You only enjoy the problems of others when you are also in trouble. I think in the end it's a little more about that. They don't have much to celebrate, so they have to take any opportunity to do it. They are in a very similar situation to us in the table.

"I don't like to connect the club with such posts or tweets because probably the person who did it did it by himself. I don't believe it was Arteta who posted it — probably it was some guy who has been working from home for three months. No problem, at home we will be waiting for them."

Tottenham face Everton on Monday before matches against Bournemouth and Arsenal.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho said he is prepared to break social-distancing rules just so he can hug Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Mourinho's struggling Tottenham will welcome Ancelotti and Everton to London for Monday's Premier League clash.

Spurs boss Mourinho heaped praise on counterpart Ancelotti ahead of the showdown – pitting ninth against 11th in the table – with the Portuguese willing to break coronavirus protocol for his love of the Everton coach.

"I think everyone in football admires Carlo [Ancelotti] as a coach and as a person," Mourinho told reporters.

"If you don't know him as a person at least you know him as a coach. I like him so much as a person that I'm going to say the obvious, which is that he is one of the top managers in the world in the last two decades and of course now.

"I think it's a privilege for the Premier League to have Carlo back. It's a privilege for Everton to have him as their manager or head coach, whatever you want to call him.

"As a person, I've had the privilege of knowing him for a few years, to stay and be with him a few times, at UEFA meetings or other different occasions and I just love Carlo.

"I think he is a fantastic guy so I think I am going to break the rule of one-metre distancing and I'm going to hug him because I like Carlo very much."

Tottenham have only won one of their past nine games across all competitions following Thursday's 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United.

Spurs – Champions League runners-up under former manager Mauricio Pochettino last season – are 12 points adrift of the top four with six matches remaining.

"I believe, but it is also possible that does not happen. And if that does not happen it is not the end of the world. If that does not happen, it is probably the beginning of a new world because things change," Mourinho added.

"Change for you, change for other clubs. The squads they change. The motivations they change, the group dynamic changes. The group that possibly was strong 10 years is ago is not strong anymore. A player that was in the maximum of his motivation is not anymore and vice-versa.

"It is also possible that we don't get into a top-six position. And if that happens of course we have to look at it not smiling, but we have to look at it with optimism and look at it with a professional profile of next season has to be different.

"Because if you analyse Tottenham for example last year, how many matches did Tottenham win away from home? When I arrived I think it was almost a year without an away victory. If it happens [finishing outside of the top six], it happens but we don't want it to happen and we are going to fight for it not to happen."

Jose Mourinho claimed the sight of Tottenham losing to Sheffield United due to a lack of desire "destroys me a little bit on the inside".

Spurs took four points from games with Manchester United and West Ham in their opening matches after the Premier League returned last month, but a 3-1 defeat at Bramall Lane this week left them ninth in the table and nine points off the top four.

After the match, Mourinho accused his players of mentally giving up after seeing a Harry Kane goal ruled out by VAR in controversial circumstances, with Lucas Moura penalised for handball in the build-up after being tripped by an opposing defender.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's game against Everton, the Spurs boss again highlighted his concerns about his players' mental fortitude.

"[From a] desire point of view, they put more in than us," he said of the loss to the Blades.

"That disturbs me. That destroys me a little bit on the inside because the last thing in football is when you feel you should do more.

"It's not a problem for me to lose because of a goalkeeper mistake or a striker missed two goals or mistakes. It's a problem for me when I feel we could do more."

When asked what will fix any perceived problems in Spurs' mindset, Mourinho replied: "Time. Only time.

"One of the most difficult things in football is exactly that: to change mentalities. It's to change the state of mind. It's to change the team's soul. It's one of the most difficult things in football.

"Sometimes, you have incredible luck to have a majority of players adapted to these needs, and some other times you have incredible players but the psychological profile is different or was built in a different direction. So, only time can do it. You have a recent example of the new champions and you know what the process to build the team is."

Mourinho also ruled out targeting specifically older players in the transfer market in order to strengthen the mentality of the group.

"In this moment, I'm not going in this direction and I don't think personalities have to do with age," he said. "There are young people with incredible mentality and there are people with a lot of experience without the right mentality. So, I don't think it's about age; it's more about a certain profile."

Dele Alli has sustained a hamstring problem but Mourinho says the injury is "nothing important" and hopes to have the midfielder available.

Jose Mourinho believes the referee on the pitch is now merely an assistant to the VAR official after Tottenham had a goal contentiously disallowed in a defeat to Sheffield United.

Harry Kane thought he had equalised for Spurs a minute after Sander Berge had opened the scoring at Bramall Lane, only for his strike to be ruled out following a VAR check.

Lucas Moura was penalised by VAR official Michael Oliver for handball, even though he was tripped onto the ball by a United player.

Spurs' misery was compounded after the interval – Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie making it 3-0 to United before Kane tucked in a late consolation, his 199th club goal.

In his post-match news conference, Mourinho revealed his concern that the referees off the pitch are now more powerful than the officials on it.

"I think I cannot say what I feel. It's not the referee anymore," Mourinho said.

"The man on the pitch is the assistant referee, The man and lady with the flags are now the assistants of the assistant referees.

"The referee should be the man on the pitch. We are going into a direction which is really bad for what is a beautiful game."

Mourinho, however, insisted his side needed to be more resilient after their stroke of bad luck – Spurs controlled much of the possession in the second half, yet hardly threatened Dean Henderson's goal until Kane scored in the final minute of normal time.

"We have to do better," Mourinho added.

"We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened in the game. We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver's decision.

"I know it's difficult to take, In the second half we had ball but we didn't have chances to change the game."

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho insists he would not swap Giovani Lo Celso for Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes or any other midfield player.

Fernandes revealed last year he had agreed to join Spurs but the north London club were unwilling to match Sporting CP's valuation and instead turned to Lo Celso.

The Portugal international went on to join Tottenham's Premier League rivals United in January and has proved good value for the reported £67million (€80m) spent to sign him.

He has been directly involved in eight goals in eight league outings, while Lo Celso - whose loan switch from Real Betis was made permanent in January - has yet to register a goal or assist.

Mourinho says he is not bothered Spurs missed out on Fernandes' signature during Mauricio Pochettino's time in charge, however, as he rates Lo Celso just as highly.

"I don't know anything about [an agreement], but if that is true, and if Giovani Lo Celso was the player that came to Spurs instead, then I would say I wouldn't change Giovani Lo Celso for any player," he told Sky Sports.

"[I wouldn't swap Lo Celso] for any player. It's not just for Bruno, but for any player."

Lo Celso struggled for minutes when Mourinho succeeded Pochettino in November but has since started 11 of Tottenham's last 15 matches in all competitions.

Mourinho has been pleased with the Argentina international's positive attitude and believes there is still plenty more to come from the £27m (€30m) signing.

"When I arrived I went in other directions and he did exactly what I love a player to do: 'I'm going to show you'," Mourinho said.

"[There was] no spoiled kid reactions, no crying, no moaning, no agents and family throwing messages to the press and to the social media. 

"It was just between him and me: I'm going to show you', and he showed me step-by-step.

"The way he was working every day, the way he was coming to matches, the way he was changing matches."

Mourinho added: "I remember the match against Liverpool: he was on the bench, he came on for the last half an hour and he changed the game. 

"The only thing that didn't happen was us changing the result because we were so unlucky, but he changed the game.

"When he had his first start: 'Goodbye, I give you no chance and this place is mine'. In this moment, what people can see from him is an injured player playing, or a player that during the week is not working like the others.

"He's working with lots of different conditions to try to play and to try to resist until the end of the season so what you see from Gio now is not the end product - he's a fantastic player for us."

Jose Mourinho is hopeful that Eric Dier will sign a new contract with Tottenham.

The versatile England international's deal expires at the end of next season, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and manager Mourinho want him to stay.

Dier has informed Mourinho of his desire to extend his stay at the Premier League club, which was music to the ears of the Tottenham boss.

Mourinho said: "My boss Mr Levy tells me that he wants Eric to sign a new contract and Eric tells me that he's more than happy here, more than happy with his situation, especially now that he feels we have a certain idea for him and the deal.

"And he tells me also that he wants very much to stay.

"So I hope that we can find an agreement because I'm trying to take the team in a certain direction and when I try to develop a player in the team it's because I'm waiting for a player to stay with us."

The London club travel to Sheffield United on Thursday in the battle for European spots and Mourinho says Europa League rather than Champions League qualification would not be a failure.

"If you tell me I start the season with zero points like everyone else and at the end of the season I am not in a Champions League spot I would say disappointing," the Portuguese said.

"If I put myself in my day one and where the team was and everything that happens I would say I would not be disappointed because the situation was incredible.

"But we are going to fight until we can, until it is mathematically impossible. One objective is points on the table but we cannot forget that one objective is working for the future, working for next season.

"This is not a waste of time for us. It doesn't matter how we end the season, to know the players, to work with the players, to make decisions to improve the team step by step in certain areas I think is also very important for us.

"We just want to play and see where we are at the end of the season. When the season finishes we know a couple of weeks later we are starting pre-season for the next season and then is the moment to say everyone has the same points let's go and fight."

Add Tottenham to the list of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic admirers.

The Lazio star and Serbia international has teams queuing up for his services, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly tipped to secure his signature.

However, Premier League outfit Spurs are now eyeing Milinkovic-Savic.

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC WANTED BY SPURS

Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Tottenham, according to Foot Mercato.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, having been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City and Chelsea.

While a move for Milinkovic-Savic appears out of reach for Spurs, Jose Mourinho is still dreaming.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Milinkovic-Savic is a dream for Spurs, The Telegraph says Tottenham are confident of signing Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Mourinho, however, must raise transfer funds through sales from his squad.

Inter are in advanced talks with Brescia to finalise a deal for star Sandro Tonali, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. Inter have agreed a five-year deal with Tonali.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future at Milan beyond the 2019-20 season is complicated, says Calciomercato. Ibrahimovic is out of contract at the end of the campaign and the 38-year-old striker is no closer to signing an extension. While he would like to remain at San Siro, an extension looks set to be postponed until the proposed arrival of Ralf Rangnick as head coach.

- Sport Bild reports Bayern Munich are hopeful of extending David Alaba's contract, despite failing to come to an agreement at a meeting last week. Alaba has been linked to Chelsea recently. Meanwhile, Sky Sport says Bayern are not prepared to exercise their option to sign Ivan Perisic permanently from Inter following his loan spell.

- ABC says Real Betis have been in negotiations with former West Ham, Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini about their coaching vacancy.

Milan and Napoli are both interested in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, claims Le10 Sport. The Serbian could be a replacement for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been linked to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

- The Daily Mail reports Arsenal are ready to use out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as a bargaining chip in a potential swap deal. United, PSG, Madrid and Barca have emerged as possible destinations.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho played down suggestions of a rift with Tanguy Ndombele after Spurs' win over West Ham.

Ndombele, a club-record signing from Lyon for a reported £55million last year, was again an unused substitute as Tottenham recorded a 2-0 win in the Premier League on Tuesday.

But reports in France said the midfielder had told Mourinho he no longer wanted to work with him.

However, Mourinho dismissed suggestions of a disagreement, telling a news conference: "No. On the bench was Tanguy, was [Ryan] Sessegnon, Toby [Alderweireld], [Jan] Vertonghen. Who else? Gedson [Fernandes] and they didn't play and that's football. For me, there is nothing.

"I have attacking players on the bench, [Erik] Lamela and Harry [Winks], two great players to bring and then wings to give us more consistency. This situation of the five changes, some people maybe think that you have to do the five changes, you don't have to do it, you have the chance to do it.

"I felt that the team was fine. I never believed that 2-0 was a completely safe result because of course they were trying everything and one goal could change our state of mind and give them the motivation they need for the last minutes so I decided to keep the team stable and three changes were enough."

Mourinho added: "It's not just him, I try to do the best for my team, I cannot start the game with 12 or 13 players, I try to do the best for the team.

"Sometimes I apologise to my players that are not my first choice because I feel the work in training is something that deserves more than what I give, but I have to do my job the best I can and I felt for these two matches I didn't need him."

Spurs are seventh in the table, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, after a Tomas Soucek own goal and Harry Kane strike.

Mourinho said he warned his players of the importance of claiming three points when they were level at half-time.

"First of all, the three points were not important, they were crucial. I told the players that at half-time," he said.

"Don't think if we don't win this match we still can think about chances because tonight is three points or nothing so three points fundamental, then great clean sheet."

Jose Mourinho has a new nickname for Harry Kane after the Spurs striker completed 90 minutes in his first outing for five months against Manchester United.

"Hero Kane" was unable to find the net during Friday's 1-1 draw but Mourinho has no doubt the England captain's goalscoring form will come.

Kane ruptured hamstring tendons during Spurs' 1-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year's Day, undergoing surgery that might have threatened an early end to his season without the coronavirus shutdown.

Ankle problems have also been an unwelcomely familiar hindrance over recent years for the 26-year-old, but Mourinho marvelled at how he has thrown himself into hard work on the training field since Tottenham regrouped for the season restart.

"I know that if tomorrow he scores two goals, the talk stops, but let's suppose that he doesn't score a goal. I think it's just normal process," said Mourinho, whose team host West Ham on Tuesday.

"How long it will take? I don't know. All I know is Harry Kane had an incredible effort. He played 90 minutes, he was training again today and yesterday, he's ready to play tomorrow.

"He's an incredible professional, he's super committed with the team. If I have to wait patiently for him to score two goals or three goals in one game and then everybody starts saying that Harry Kane is back, I wait.

"But for me, it is not Harry Kane, it is 'Hero' Kane because a guy that had a big surgery has a lockdown that stopped the perfect rehabilitation.

"With all the difficulties, then coming to normal training only for a couple of weeks. For me, 'Hero' Kane. If he gives me the same [against West Ham] that he did against United I will be more than happy."

Kane has scored seven times in 11 outings under his current manager, part of an overall season haul of 27 in 32 appearances for club and country.

Mourinho made a impassioned defence of his track record with star forwards such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba, following claims by former England international Paul Merson that Kane would struggle to remain prolific under his management.

Of Kane's 36 touches against United, none came in the opposition penalty area and Merson suggested the player might consider his future at the end of the season, with Spurs missing out on European football a possibility.

Nevertheless, Mourinho is confident his premier attacker will remain and insisted the player's ambitions are aligned with those of himself, Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis – Tottenham's chairman and owner respectively.

"The club doesn't need to do anything," he said. "The club just need to say, 'Harry Kane is ours, Harry Kane has a long-term contract, Harry Kane is not for sale, Harry Kane is Tottenham, Harry Kane is staying.'

"We want the same. He doesn't want anything different to what Mr Levy wants, Mr Lewis wants and what I want. He doesn't want anything different than us."

Spurs are eighth in the Premier League table, nine points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea with eight matches remaining.

Even allowing for the prospect of Manchester City's Champions League ban being upheld and fifth place granting entry to Europe's top competition, Mourinho is prepared for the reality and consequences of Tottenham falling short.

He added: "If we get a Champions League position, we are helping the club; if we get a Europa League position, we are helping less but we are still helping the club.

"If we don't get a Europa League position, we are not helping the club in relation to that extra money."

Jose Mourinho has passionately hit back at suggestions he will not be able to get the best out of Harry Kane as Tottenham manager.

Kane's performance in Spurs' 1-1 home draw against Manchester United on Friday prompted former Arsenal star Paul Merson to cast doubt over the England captain's suitability in Mourinho's system.

Responding at a news conference ahead of Tuesday's home Premier League match with West Ham, the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Inter boss stressed he respects Merson.

But Mourinho felt the comments had prompted unfair analysis over Kane's future at Spurs.

He launched into a four-minute answer listing forwards who had succeeded under his management, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, accompanied by statistics.

Kane had scored seven goals in 10 matches before suffering a serious hamstring injury on January 1, with the United game, in which he played the full 90 minutes, marking his return to action.

"I feel a bit strange about some analysis and some comments," said Mourinho. "The beginning of some comments and analysis started from Paul.

"I have to say I respect people a lot like him and because I respect him a lot, I want to be nice in my answer. I try to be nice and I try just to say something where people can think a little a bit.

"First of all, Harry played his first game for six months and if you watch the game and you analyse the game, compare Harry Kane with Anthony Martial.

"Was it a game of many chances? Was it a game where the two strikers had a lot of chances? Do you give credit to my defence for Martial's game? 

"Do you give credit to United's defence and for the occasions we created or we didn't create? I think you have to look at it in a balanced approach.

"In our case, Harry doesn't play a game for six months. Phenomenal [that he played 90 minutes]. 

"The record of goals that Harry has with me is easy for you. You just look, go to your data and it is easy to see how many matches Harry played with me before his injury and how many goals he scored."

Uninterrupted, Mourinho's impassioned defence continued as he added: "I can say that I had a few strikers that played for me and they are not bad. 

"I had one guy called [Didier] Drogba. He played for me [over] four seasons. He scored 186 goals which gives an average of 46 goals per season.

"I had one guy that is not also bad - he [Ronaldo] plays for Juventus now. He played for me [during] three seasons. He scored 168 goals, which gives an average of 56 goals per season.

"I had another guy who is not also bad called Karim Benzema. He played for me [during] three seasons.

"He was not always starting because he was quite young at that time. But he scored for me 78 goals in three season which gives a 26-goal average per season.

"I had another one called [Diego] Milito. He played one season for me [and] he scored 30 goals. He won three titles and of course the average is 30 [per season].

"I had another guy that played for me [over] one and a half seasons - I say one and half because in the other half he had a big injury. A tall guy called Zlatan [Ibrahimovic].

"He played one and a half seasons. He scored 58 goals which gives a 29-goal average per season.

"So, dear Paul, I have lots of respect for you. [But] I think Harry Kane has no problems at all to score goals in my teams. 

"Especially when he is fit, fresh, when he has routines of playing. So, that is my message to somebody that I have lots of respect for."

Jose Mourinho admits Steven Bergwijn was not his first-choice option in the January window but is delighted with the winger's impact since joining Tottenham.

The Netherlands international opened the scoring in Friday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United to make it three goals in eight appearances for the London side.

Bergwijn has added an extra dimension to Spurs' attack and Mourinho is pleased the club pushed ahead with the signing, even if the left-sided attacker was not his primary target.

"He's a good player. Congratulations to my club because initially he wasn't my first option – in the end it was a great decision," he said at Monday's pre-match media conference.

"He's a player with a bright future and we are more than happy."

Mourinho has a near fully fit squad to choose from for Tuesday's Premier League clash against West Ham, with Dele Alli back from suspension and Lucas Moura overcoming a knock.

And the Portuguese is relishing the prospect of fielding his favoured attacking line-up for the first time since succeeding Mauricio Pochettino in November.

"It's only good news [on the injury front]. Lucas is back. Dele Alli is back from punishment and no injuries were reported in the game against United," he said.

"We didn't lose any players and we have two extra players who make my squad really good. It's the first time since I arrived that I have all six attacking players available.

"It's a problem that we love. The problem that we hate I had for a long time. It's very good news for us because we need everybody."

Juan Foyth will miss out on the midweek London derby with a troublesome knee injury, but Mourinho denied reports the centre-back requires surgery.

"Surgery? Unless he has consultation by Zoom in Argentina, I hope not," he said. 

"The information I had from medical department is he'll have recovery period and be available for some matches."

Spurs head into the match winless in seven, a run that has seen them exit two cup competitions and lose ground in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Mourinho acknowledges that only victory will do against West Ham to keep alive his side's hopes of Champions League football next season.

"I think we have to think about winning the game. Even a draw is not a good result for us," he said. 

"If you want to finish seventh, if you reduce our ambition, then a point is a point. If you want think about the biggest ambition as possible then we'll need to win."

Jose Mourinho felt he had "no bench to react" during Tottenham's 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United on Friday.

Bruno Fernandes' 81st-minute penalty cancelled out Steven Bergwijn's goal as Spurs and United returned to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

United were also awarded an even later penalty, but a VAR check reversed the on-field call.

But Mourinho rued a lack of options off the bench, with the absences of Dele Alli and Lucas Moura hurting Spurs' depth in attack.

"I liked the team attitude, the team organisation, the control, the following of a plan, being very solid, giving to United what they don't like, really happy with that," the Spurs head coach told Sky Sports.

"I'm unhappy with the fact that the way I was reading the game, I had no bench to react to it.

"With Lucas and Dele Alli, they would be on the bench or playing, then I would have had on the bench some of our attacking players, because they become more dominant because we tired up front. By being tired we couldn't press, making it easier for them to build.

"At the same time, we couldn't be dangerous on the counter-attack because we had no legs for that. It was hard for us to manage the game in that sense.

"I'm also not happy with the penalty and I'm also not happy with the second penalty. I'm unhappy with the VAR, not the referee. The referee in the game can make a mistake, give a cheap penalty. But then the VAR is there to do the job. I'm not unhappy with [Jonathan] Moss, I'm unhappy with the VAR.

"With the second penalty, I'm unhappy with Moss because he didn't give the free-kick on Serge Aurier, again giving a cheap penalty, a non-penalty. In this case, the VAR gave the truth over what happened in the box."

While Mourinho lamented his lack of options, United introduced Paul Pogba, who was fouled for the penalty converted by Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Odion Ighalo off the bench.

"United had it, Spurs did not. It was not just Pogba. They had Paul, they had Greenwood, they had Ighalo," Mourinho said.

"If they wanted to decide, they could have had Jesse [Lingard], who can change the face of the game, or one in short spaces who can find something really good.

"That's what five changes can [do] with a powerful bench with options."

Ahead of facing West Ham on Tuesday, Spurs are eighth in the table – four points behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

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