EPL

Tottenham can win the Premier League, says 'humble' Mourinho

By Sports Desk November 21, 2019

Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham can target the Premier League title next season after he sought to strike a humble tone at his maiden news conference.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss was installed as Spurs' head coach this week in the aftermath of Mauricio Pochettino's shock sacking.

Dismal domestic form that leaves Tottenham languishing in 14th going into Saturday's London derby at West Ham ultimately brought the end of Pochettino's five-and-a-half-year reign.

The yawning gap to leaders Liverpool stands at 20 points after 12 games, but Mourinho lavished praise on his new squad and claimed a first league title for Spurs since 1960-61 in 2020-21 is possible.

"We can't win the Premier League this season," he told reporters.

"Next season, I'm not saying we will win it, but we can win it."

Mourinho has spent 11 months out of football since his sacking at Manchester United and the appointment of new faces to his backroom staff – coaches Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos joining from Lille – add to a sense of him turning over a new leaf.

"I am humble enough to try and analyse my career, not just the last year but my career- the evolution, the problems," he said.

"The principle of the analysis was not to blame anyone else. When I had meetings with my assistants and the people I wanted to bring with me in this chapter it was on the principle that there was no one else to blame.

"I'm not going to make the same mistakes. I'm going to make new mistakes. I'm going to be stronger.

"From an emotional point of view I'm relaxed, motivated and ready and I think the players felt that these two days. I'm ready and I'm here to support them.

"In life you go through periods like this, where it's not about myself, it's about my players and my club."

Nevertheless, Mourinho also insisted the playing style and principles that have yielded league titles in four countries will remain, as will his requirement for his players to always put the demands of the collective before themselves.

"[My style will be] very similar to before. On top of that I will try to add the details and sometimes the details can make the difference," he explained.

"The style of play has to be always adapted, not just to the club culture but to the playing squad. These are the players, they have their qualities.

"I read a quote from Kobe Bryant and, if you have to speak about some example of professionalism and a serial winner, Kobe is a great example in the world of sport. He said: 'People say that I am difficult but I am only difficult for the ones who do not share my principles.'

"All the colleagues who share his principles love him. The ones who don't like him are the ones who don't share the principles. With me it is basically the same.

"For me everything is about the team, it is not about selfish people. It is about the group, professionalism, commitment, respect for the club, respect for the team-mates.

"I cannot run away from this. If there is somebody that doesn't share these principles with me then they have a problem and we will always have a problem.

"This is the way I think football has to be. The players are only big when they make the others better. You cannot be a big player if you only think about yourself. That is another principle."

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