Jose Mourinho said Tottenham's 1-0 London derby defeat to Chelsea was even more "painful" as his former club were awarded a decisive penalty that was "difficult to accept".

There did not appear to be any complaints from Eric Dier after he tripped Timo Werner in the first half and referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot.

Jorginho converted from 12 yards out to give dominant Chelsea a richly deserved Premier League victory, which could have been more emphatic in the driving rain at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday.

Chelsea made it seven points from a possible nine under new boss Thomas Tuchel, moving above Spurs into sixth place.

Tottenham have now lost three consecutive matches and were toothless without injured captain Harry Kane as Mourinho suffered back-to-back home league defeats for the first time in his managerial career.

Yet the ex-Blues boss felt his side had been hard done by.

He told BT Sport: "It was a bit of a struggle but how many chances did they have? We didn't have the ball, correct, we didn't create in the first half, correct. But the struggle was the penalty. In the end a penalty decides the game.

"In the end they score a penalty which is not a penalty that you say is a dangerous situation, one on one, almost scoring. It's a penalty that is difficult to accept and to lose the game like this is a bit painful.

"But in the second half we were different and Lucas [Moura] and [Erik] Lamela helped to change the dynamic. The feeling I have is that we kept together until the end. To finish with a positive spirit helps."

Carlos Vinicius should have snatched a point when he headed wide from close range late on in his first start and Mourinho felt Spurs deserved to avoid losing three successive Premier League games for the first time since November 2012.

"Vinicius is a player with an incredible spirit but his understanding of how to press is something he's still not comfortable with," Mourinho added.

"Then in the second half it was much more difficult for them, we pressed them much better and higher and in the second half I believe we deserved a little bit more."

What a difference a year makes. Except in north London, where time has stood still.

It was a February midweek game in 2020 when Timo Werner ran Tottenham ragged and RB Leipzig should have won by a street, rather than just 1-0 in the Champions League.

There was no Harry Kane that night due to injury and Tottenham gave a lethargic performance until coming to life very late in the game.

As Jose Mourinho said that night: "What worries me is that these are our players for the next however many matches."

Well, Jose, it's not quite Groundhog Day (that was Tuesday), but where is the progress with Spurs?

A 1-0 home defeat to Chelsea means Mourinho has not won any of his last seven games against his old club, and for the first time in his career he has lost consecutive Premier League home games, with this setback following the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

With Kane injured and Tottenham largely clueless without him, it feels as though they are taking a mid-season break while the rest of the Premier League plays on.

"We are really in trouble," Mourinho added on the night of that Leipzig loss, and so here we are again.

Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League, chewed up and spat out by the big boys in the early season jostling after fleeting title talk, destined for mid-table obscurity barring a sudden upturn.

But Tottenham can never be obscure in mid-table because the target each season is far higher. They stand out from the crowd. People notice. You love to see it, rival fans would say.

And however much David Moyes deserves huge credit, it must be deeply dismaying for all concerned at Tottenham, including chairman Daniel Levy, for a Mourinho team to sit five points behind Moyes' West Ham, the stick du jour for beating big-spending London sides.

On a rain-soaked Tottenham Hotspur Stadium pitch, Eric Dier gave away the penalty that decided this game when he fell to the ground and performed some sort of postmodern wiggle on his backside, flicking his feet out this way and that in such a haphazard way that someone was bound to join him on the deck.

Werner, still searching for his mojo at Chelsea but lively enough here, was the man to be sent crashing and Jorginho powered a no-nonsense penalty past Hugo Lloris.

At half-time, BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand was merciless, the former England captain saying of Spurs: "There's no method ... I've not seen any patterns of play in this game.

"It just seems like a team that doesn't have any idea what they're doing when they have the ball."

Mourinho left Gareth Bale on the bench throughout, putting his faith in Carlos Vinicius having recently refused to entertain the idea of using his on-loan Real Madrid star as a striker.

Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura replaced Steven Bergwijn and Tanguy Ndombele midway through the second half as Spurs sought some spark.

Edouard Mendy produced a decent save to deny Lamela a 20-yard strike into the left corner, but there was scant little to appreciate about a Tottenham side who were out-shot 18-7 by their visitors.

Mason Mount was excellent and Werner almost added a second late on, smacking a fierce shot that looked like it would have stung Dier, who made the block.

But just like on his previous visit to this space-age stadium, one goal was enough for Werner's team.

Chelsea have a new boss in Thomas Tuchel and he has given them a 'bounce'. Tottenham have bounced under Mourinho in the past but now their football has gone flat. There is no bounce. There is no vibrancy. Three defeats in eight days, Kane out, and you sense there is no easy fix.

West Brom are the visitors on Sunday. If Tottenham fail again, there will be nowhere to hide for Mourinho.

Thomas Tuchel masterminded a richly deserved victory in his first London derby as dominant Chelsea beat Tottenham 1-0 to move above them in the Premier League. 

Jose Mourinho could only watch on in the driving rain at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as his former club bossed lacklustre Spurs, who slipped to a third consecutive defeat. 

Jorginho's first-half penalty made it seven points from three matches without conceding a goal for Chelsea under Tuchel, lifting them into sixth place. 

Toothless Tottenham were outclassed and fortunate not to suffer a more emphatic loss as they slipped down to eighth following another lacklustre performance. 

Timo Werner almost got Chelsea off to a dream start when he nodded a long ball from Cesar Azpilicueta just wide in the first minute. 

The Blues knocked the ball about with a swagger and deservedly took the lead 24 minutes in, Jorginho finding the bottom-right corner of Hugo Lloris' net from the spot after Eric Dier had tripped the lively Werner. 

Andreas Christensen replaced the injured Thiago Silva as Tuchel's side continued to dominate, although Serge Aurier wasted a chance to equalise late in the first half when he headed Son Heung-min's free-kick wide. 

Spurs showed more urgency after the break, pressing Chelsea higher up the pitch, albeit Callum Hudson-Odoi could have doubled the lead when he drilled wide of the far post. 

Aurier produced a brilliant last-ditch tackle to prevent Werner from ending his Premier League goal drought as the Germany striker was about to pull the trigger after being set up by Mason Mount. 

Lloris bravely punched away a dangerous cross with Christian Pulisic waiting to pounce and Mateo Kovacic poked a shot wide with Chelsea firmly in command. 

The excellent Mount was denied by a fine reflex save by Lloris as Spurs were opened up all too easily again before Edouard Mendy was finally called into action, palming away Erik Lamela's shot with just over 10 minutes to go.

Carlos Vinicius should have made Chelsea pay for their profligacy, but he headed wide from close range late in his first league start as Gareth Bale was an unused substitute for the hosts.

Tottenham have generally enjoyed playing Chelsea this season. A penalty shoot-out win in September saw them progress in an EFL Cup tie, while October's 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge took them top of the Premier League. 

Yet Jose Mourinho's men head into Thursday's clash with a little trepidation. After back-to-back defeats and just one win in four in the league, and with Chelsea playing largely without pressure as they get to grips with life under new boss Thomas Tuchel, the onus is on Spurs to deliver and underline their credentials as top-four contenders. 

With Harry Kane injured and Son Heung-min without a goal in six games, getting three points looks far from straightforward. There is, however, an unlikely Mourinho acolyte who could lead the charge at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Tanguy Ndombele has gone from peripheral irritant to midfield centrepiece at Spurs, sustaining his good form even during the recent downbeat run. It's a transformation few saw coming, but it has been hugely welcome to Mourinho, who has been unable to coax form out of Gareth Bale and apparently unwilling to try with Dele Alli but has talked of Ndombele's "big evolution" in recent months. 

So, what's changed?

A PASSING FANCY?

Ndombele has made 27 appearances in all competitions this season, with 21 of those as a starter. He has scored six goals and assisted three; only Lucas Moura (10), Son (26) and Kane (33) have had more direct goal involvements. 

At the same stage of last season, when Spurs were also sixth in the league but three points worse off, Ndombele had scored two and set up three goals in only 13 starts. There were seven team-mates with more goal involvements. 

This term, the France international is third for chances created from open play (20), third for completed passes in the opponents' half (540) and third for completed passes ending in the final third (245). Still, on average, these numbers have actually diminished slightly since last season. 

Ndombele has created just over one chance per 90 minutes from open play in 2020-21, a drop of more than 0.5 since this stage of 2019-20. He has also slipped in successful passes in the opposition half per 90 minutes (29.6 from 32.4) and completed passes ending in the final third (13.4 from 15.3). His per-90 average for successful tackles and duels shows negligible change, so it's not as though he is being tasked with more defensive work at the expense of attacking abandon, either. 

Besides, few would argue Ndombele is not enjoying his best spell since his reported €62million switch from Lyon. As former Spurs midfielder Gustavo Poyet told Stats Perform News: "It looks like it was not a feeling of him being part of a [Jose] Mourinho team. It was like a conflict in there of ideas. 

"But it looks to me that this year, after pre-season, Ndombele understands his role perfectly, is playing in a more advanced position, and is really affecting the game in an incredible way." 

So, what is it that he's doing so well?

RUNNING RIOT

Put simply, he runs with the ball and makes things happen. 

Ndombele has attempted (56) and completed (41) take-ons, the most by any Spurs player this season. Indeed, Kane, who is second on that list, has only completed 26. Notably, 34 of Ndombele's completed take-ons have come in the opposition half, reflecting his advanced role. 

Mourinho appears to have identified Ndombele has a previously underused weapon – he was only sixth for attempted dribbles at this stage last season – and encouraged him to be bold.  

This season, Ndombele is third among Spurs players for ball carries – where a player moves five metres or more in possession – on 174, but 21 of those instances have ended in a take-on, which is seven more than any team-mate. Similarly, five carries have ended in a chance created, a figure bettered only by Son (eight) and Kane (10). 

Ndombele has managed not only to win back the trust of one of the world's most demanding coaches, he has done it by filling a role vacated by Christian Eriksen and the out-of-favour Alli and developed it in his own style. Little wonder Poyet believes he is helping Spurs "go to another level". 

The Uruguayan says, in all likelihood: "Mourinho was trying to convince him [Ndombele] last year about certain players getting [settled] very quickly and certain players need a little bit more time. 

"Because let's remember in that position we were used to seeing Eriksen or Dele Alli and now we see Ndombele most of the time, so it's a very good story and he could be a key player for them." 

Harry Kane's injury lay-off could be shorter than initially expected as Jose Mourinho suggested he should be back in time for the trip to Manchester City next week.

Kane injured both ankles in the 3-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool at the end of January and was first thought to be facing "a few weeks" on the sidelines.

He missed the 1-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend and will also be absent when Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea visit Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday, plus Sunday's home game against West Brom.

But with Spurs set to face Everton in the FA Cup in a week's time and a daunting trip to in-form City three days later, Mourinho thinks Kane could be involved in at least one of those.

That would be a significant boost as well, given Spurs have won just 34.8 per cent of their 23 games across all competitions without Kane since the start of last season, compared to 52.4 per cent with him on the pitch.

"[He's making] good progress, he's happy with the progress and of course we're happy too," Mourinho said in Wednesday's pre-match news conference.

"I think it's not a very optimistic thing to say next week he should be playing, it will be just a consequence of his good evolution.

"So, we're happy. We were scared when it happened, but next week we play Everton and City at the weekend. I believe for one of these matches he should be back."

Attention soon turned to Dele Alli, as it has regularly in Mourinho's media conferences lately.

The England international did not leave Spurs in the January transfer window despite apparent interest from Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain, meaning he will once again have to turn his focus to forcing his way back into Mourinho's thinking.

It was under Pochettino's guidance that Alli initially exploded in the Premier League, with his 63 top-flight goal involvements bettered by only six players across the attacking midfielder's first three seasons in the division.

He was proving a real weapon for Spurs in his role behind Harry Kane, and his 26 assists over the same period was the fifth highest in the Premier League – Alli found such consistency despite being significantly younger than those he was competing with.

But his form began to suffer towards the end of Pochettino's time at the club, scoring just two goals before the Argentinian was sacked last season in November 2019, and he has made just four Premier League appearances this term that amount to 75 minutes of action.

Asked what Alli needs to do to save his Spurs career, an optimistic Mourinho said: "He needs to recover from his injury, return to training and have a fresh start, because last week he couldn't even train – so that's the most important thing.

"I had a good conversation with him yesterday [Tuesday], we spoke around this question that you asked me and I think we found very common ground. It's an important period of the season for the team and for him also. We need him. We need a good Dele Alli.

"We are just waiting for him to be back to a good normality. Dele, Kane, [Giovani] Lo Celso, we're talking about players that without all three we miss a little creation, some magic around the attacking areas.

"We had a conversation. Of course, a conversation doesn't put a player in great form but hopefully [it gives] the motivation he needs to be back for the team.

"We are in the Europa League, the Premier League and the FA Cup, although I don't believe he'll be back for that. I think when he's physically ready he'll be in a good frame of mind."

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."

Gareth Bale has reached "a crucial moment" in his second spell at Tottenham and must help the team soften the blow of losing Harry Kane, according to Jose Mourinho.

The on-loan Real Madrid forward has struggled to make a major impression this season with Spurs, starting only one Premier League game.

Taking into account four appearances as substitute, Bale has played a mere 170 minutes in the English top flight this season, scoring once and creating four chances.

Barring a turnaround in fortunes in the second half of the season, his switch looks set to go down as a disappointing gamble by the club.

Bale scored 42 goals and had 20 assists in 146 Premier League games across his first spell at the club, productivity which heralded a big-money move to Spain.

With Kane facing a lay-off after injuring his ankle in Thursday's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, head coach Mourinho wants other players to "step up", starting from Sunday's game at Brighton and Hove Albion.

And asked whether Bale can do that, Mourinho said: "Yes, I hope so. He didn't play much [against Liverpool], he played 15 minutes with the team losing 3-1.

"But he played 90 minutes in the [FA] cup and that for him is a big impact for him, to play 90 minutes.

"It's a crucial moment for him, he's feeling better and better. When you lose a player of Harry's quality and dimension, the other guys have to step up and hopefully he can help us."

Bale's appearance in Monday's 4-1 cup win over Wycombe, a match in which he scored, was a signal that his fitness is returning, but Mourinho knows it will take a big effort from several players to fill the void created by Kane's setback, given the England captain is such a linchpin of the side.

"Harry Kane is Harry Kane, there are players in some teams that are not replaceable," Mourinho said.

Spurs were without a host of forwards for a time last season, with Kane and Son Heung-min particularly missed, and Mourinho was forced to field several makeshift line-ups.

Mourinho pointed to having Carlos Vinicius, Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Bale all available this time.

However, he stressed Bale could not be a like-for-like replacement for star man Kane, who has 12 Premier League goals and 11 assists this season.

Removing penalties, Kane has nine goals from an xG (expected goals) rating of 7.2, meaning he is exceeding what he might be expected to achieve based on his chances.

"I don't think Gareth is a striker and I don't think he likes to play as a striker," said Mourinho.

"It was something we spoke about when he joined us and he was very objective with me by saying that he doesn't feel he is a left winger, like he was before, or a number 10, like he was before too.

"The position he likes to play is the position where we are playing him every minute we are giving him, which is on the right side of attack.

"When Gareth plays, starting or coming from the bench, that's his position in our team."

Mourinho said Dele Alli, linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, is injured and would not be available for the Brighton trip.

Jose Mourinho fears Harry Kane could be out for "a few weeks" after the Tottenham captain injured both ankles in a 3-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Thursday.

England striker Kane did not return for the second half at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after requiring treatment twice in the opening 45 minutes.

Kane has been struck with ankle problems in the past and although Mourinho was unsure over the extent of the damage his talisman sustained, the Spurs boss is braced for having to cope without him in the short term at least.

Asked about Kane's injuries, the Portuguese told Match of the Day: "Two ankles, the first was a bad tackle, it was Thiago [Alcantara]. The second one I didn't know well.

"But two injuries in both ankles, the second one worst than the first one – a few weeks [out], I don't know.

"There are some players you can't replace. When it happens it happens but I believe we have to fight against it, we cannot do anything else."

Spurs face Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday before taking on Chelsea in a London derby, then face clashes with Everton and Manchester City before coming up against Wolfsberger over two legs in the Europa League next month.

Their eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions was brought to a juddering halt by champions Liverpool, who rediscovered their goalscoring touch with strikes from Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had made it 2-1 with a stunning first goal for Spurs after Alexander-Arnold capitalised on a mistake from Hugo Lloris early in the second half.

Son Heung-min had an early goal disallowed for offside after Mane missed a glorious early chance to open the scoring and Mourinho felt Tottenham only had themselves to blame for a defeat that leaves them eight points behind leaders City in sixth place.

"My analysis is that we started very well, but before we scored the offside goal we showed immediately what the game was going to be for us – a big occasion for Mane, a big defensive mistake," he said.

"That was the game for us, the team in the first half was very well organised, the goal is another mistake in the same position.

"The second half we had to make changes, we lose Harry, had to change the structure of the team. First minute, same mistake, second goal. Good reaction, another mistake and goal.

"It was a team fighting against its own mistakes. Some individual mistakes that you saw, you can replay and I cannot say much more than that."

Jose Mourinho feels Chelsea's decision to sack Frank Lampard highlights the "brutality" of football.

The Blues ended Lampard's reign after just 18 months on Monday, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel poised to replace him.

Mourinho has had two spells as Chelsea manager, both of which ended mid-season, and is well aware of the pressures at Stamford Bridge.

The Tottenham boss regrets any managerial sackings but felt particularly sad for his former player Lampard.

"I don't think Frank wants to speak to me or with anyone apart from his close circle of family and friends," Mourinho, who turned 58 on Tuesday, told reporters.

"But I am always sad when a colleague loses his job.

"And Frank is not just a colleague - he is an important person in my career - so I feel sorry he did [get sacked].

"But it is the brutality of football, especially modern football so when you become a manager you know that sooner or later it is going to happen to you."

Mourinho was speaking after a late surge gave Tottenham a 4-1 away win over Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup.

Spurs are fifth in the Premier League, four points and four places ahead of rivals Chelsea, who have only won eight of their first 19 top-flight games this season.

In a statement after his sacking, Lampard said he was disappointed at being prevented from taking Chelsea to the next level.

But the former Derby County boss expressed pride at the emergence of several academy players during his tenure.

Gareth Bale impressed in a scoring display during Tottenham's 4-1 FA Cup win at Wycombe Wanderers, with Jose Mourinho insisting he has no worries over the Wales star's fitness.

Bale returned to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid in September but an initial knee problem delayed his second debut and he has largely existed on the periphery of Mourinho's plans in the Premier League.

He was once again called into cup action at Adams Park and produced an all-action performance, equalising after Fred Onyedinma put the Championship's bottom club ahead against the run of play.

Mourinho still had to call for the cavalry from the bench as Wycombe withstood a second-half onslaught.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both went close, but fellow substitute Tanguy Ndombele finished superbly for a late brace after Harry Winks' cool chip gave Spurs an 86th-minute lead.

Faltering Premier League champions Liverpool are next on the agenda for Tottenham and Mourinho suggested Bale had done his prospects of adding to a solitary top-flight start this term no harm at all.

"He looked good, taking on players, scored the goal," he told a post-match news conference.

"I never felt that he could not play 90 minutes, I never felt I had to take him off.

"The Championship is a good level. That is good. I am happy."

If Bale is concerned over whether he can make himself a fixture in Mourinho's first XI, he should look no further than Ndombele.

The former Lyon midfielder was not always trusted when the ex-Chelsea boss replaced Mauricio Pochettino last term, but he is now a player on top form and oozing confidence, as his late salvo emphatically showed.

"He is very creative. He's one of these players who can break the balance [of a game]," Mourinho told BT Sport.

"They tried to get him man-against-man. Number 18 [Curtis Thompson] was man-against-man with him.

"But he is always the kind of player who can break that. If, on the top of that, he can score a goal for us, even better."

Tottenham were forced to come from behind before securing a 4-1 FA Cup win over Wycombe Wanderers.

The Championship's bottom club stunned their Premier League opponents when Fred Onyedinma capitalised on fine work by Uche Ikpeazu.

Gareth Bale went close either side of the opener and was on hand to level in first-half stoppage time.

Spurs dominated after the break, although Jose Mourinho felt the need to introduce Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Tanguy Ndombele - the latter sealing a place in round five with a late brace after Harry Winks' classy 20-yard chip gave the visitors the lead for the first time in the 86th-minute.

 

Gareth Bale must earn every minute on the pitch at Tottenham with Jose Mourinho insisting he does not give them out easily. 

On loan from Real Madrid and facing an uncertain future, Bale is yet to hit the heights since delighting Spurs fans with his return to the club in September. 

Issues with the winger's form and fitness have meant he has only started one Premier League match, while he is yet to complete 90 minutes in any competition. 

Ahead of Monday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wycombe Wanderers, Mourinho was asked if it would be beneficial to give Bale regular outings of between 30 and 60 minutes to build up his fitness and confidence. 

Mourinho, however, suggested performances in training held the key to his decision. 

The former Madrid head coach hopes Bale will come through this week unscathed in order to boost his chances of a long run-out against Championship outfit Wycombe. 

"I cannot give players minutes," Mourinho said about Bale. "Minutes on the pitch are not something I can give. I wouldn't go in this direction.  

"We all know the difficulties he had for a couple of seasons. We all know that he arrived injured. We all know that even this season he has been a little bit up and down with small things.  

"The most important thing is to be consistent and training without any problems. 

"When a player is consistently training high intensity without any kind of problems then the player is ready not to be given minutes but is ready to earn minutes. That to me is a different thing." 

Mourinho added: "This week, he is working every minute like everybody else at a good intensity.  

"Let's see the way he reacts to that accumulation, to that load of work. Let's see how he reacts by the end of the week.  

"If he feels - because it is also about his own feelings - that the week that he had has had a positive impact on him and his confidence, he will play the match on Monday." 

Amid reports Tottenham would not be extending Bale's loan spell for a second season, Mourinho insisted last week that no decision had yet been made.

Jose Mourinho has clarified Dele Alli was only left out of the Tottenham squad against Sheffield United due to injury.

The absence of Alli from the matchday squad in Spurs' 3-1 away Premier League win last Sunday was another talking point in a turbulent season for the attacking midfielder.

Alli has only started one Premier League game this season and has been linked with a move away from Spurs, with Paris Saint-Germain a mooted destination.

Mourinho insisted a tendon injury was the reason Alli was left out and listed him among the injury doubts for Monday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wycombe Wanderers.

"The reason he did not play or was not selected for Sheffield is everything in relation to the injury that he has," Mourinho told reporters when asked about Alli.

"It's not an injury that will keep him out for weeks and weeks like Giovani Lo Celso.

"But is an injury that doesn't allow him to train fully with the team and like in the last couple of days, no chance for him even to train. So that's the situation for now.

"The injuries that have no doubts about playing or not playing is still Gio, who will be a couple more weeks. We have two or three players who have small injuries.

"Matt Doherty, who was not involved at Sheffield [is a doubt], Dele Alli has not been training in recent days with small problem in the tendon but not sure that he can [play], and Serge Aurier, not really well. 

"We still have three days before the match though and the only one I can say is out is Gio."

Mourinho recently praised the turnaround in midfielder Tanguy Ndombele’s Tottenham career, hailing his attitude.

But he insisted that should not have been perceived as a direct comparison with Alli ahead of what he expects to be a tough test against Championship outfit Wycombe.

Mourinho said: "I don't like to go in that direction, I was speaking specifically about Tanguy. 

"I didn't want to accept any responsibility in the change. That's the way I look at things. We are an external source of motivation. The real source is the player himself. 

"I was speaking of course in a very happy way about the Tanguy transformation and the way he is playing.

"With all the respect to Marine [in the last round], Wycombe is a different level, is a more difficult challenge. What we did well against Marine is not enough to win against Wycombe. 

"They are fully professionals, they are talented people, they have ambitions. We need more than we gave against Marine. 

"With all the professionalism the boys behaved there, but we need more because the game is going to be more difficult."

After facing Wycombe, Tottenham have a huge Premier League match at home to champions Liverpool on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho has insisted he is happy with his striker options at Tottenham amid speculation linking the club with a move for Southampton star Danny Ings.

Ings is reportedly a top target for Spurs with his contract due to expire in 18 months and the England international seeking Champions League football.

Mourinho was adamant he would not directly respond to questions about Ings given he is employed by another club.

But the Spurs boss is happy with his options at centre-forward, which include on-loan Benfica forward Carlos Vinicius.

"Let's go bit by bit," Mourinho said.

"[We have] two strikers, we are not a team that needs a third striker because the third striker is Sonny [Son Heung-min]. 

"Of course we have the best [Harry Kane] and we are happy with Carlos.

"Carlos is not our player, he is a Benfica player, but he is a player we are helping to develop and he is helping the team so we are happy with the situation.

"Ings of course I refuse totally to say any word about him because he is a Southampton player and I respect that."

Mourinho was also asked about reports linking Gedson Fernandes with Torino, having previously said the player's 18-month loan with the club could end early.

Fernandes is, like Vinicius, on loan from Benfica, but the midfielder has not started a single Premier League game in a year at the club.

"We don’t speak with other clubs," Mourinho said of the Torino reports.

"We speak with Benfica. Since the moment where we felt that we were not giving to Gedson the possibilities of playing many matches, we felt that we didn't have the right to keep him. 

"If he stays, great. Every time he plays he does always well. But we never felt the right to keep a player that is not our player and is not playing. 

"Benfica knows we are open to cooperate with a friendly club like they are. If there is any other club involved, that I cannot confirm."

Spurs are away to Championship side Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round on Monday.

Tottenham will have an easy decision to send Gareth Bale back to Real Madrid at the end of the season unless the forward improves, according to Dimitar Berbatov.

Bale returned to Spurs on a season-long loan deal in September amid huge fanfare, but he has failed to live up to the hype thus far.

The 31-year-old has only made one Premier League start and is yet to play a full 90 minutes in any competition amid issues with injuries, fitness and form.

After reports suggested Spurs had already decided not to extend his loan for a second season, manager Jose Mourinho insisted last week there has not been "one second of discussion" over the issue.

But former Spurs star Berbatov believes the outcome is clear unless the Wales international embarks on a rapid turnaround in the second half of the season. 

Berbatov told Stats Perform News: "I was expecting a lot of him coming to Spurs, to shake things up and for him, Son and Kane to make it a trio up front that can rival the Liverpool attacking trio, for example.

"For the moment it is 100 per cent not working.

"There are still games until the end of the season, enough for him to show what he can do, in the [EFL Cup] final they play as well.

"So hopefully he can get back to 100 per cent and start playing. If not, in the end it is an easy decision – he can go back to Madrid."

Bale was an unused substitute in the 3-1 win at Sheffield United on Sunday.

Berbatov added: "In a way, it is disappointing that he is not being given more time to play. 

"But if you are not given more time to play, there are two reasons for that. Either are you injured and not in good shape to play or you are not performing well in training.

"Whatever the reason [for his lack of games] Gareth Bale is injury free now is because he's on the bench for the team.

"But he's not playing from the from the first minute so it means that obviously he's not producing the right level of football Jose Mourinho wants from him, which is a shame because I like him a lot."

With the EFL Cup final against Manchester City coming up in April, Berbatov feels Bale – along with Mourinho and captain Hugo Lloris – can play a huge role. 

Spurs were unable to win a trophy despite five and a half otherwise productive years under Mauricio Pochettino.

Berbatov – who won the League Cup with Spurs in 2008 – underlined the importance of lifting silverware.

"Jose Mourinho has led them to the final but let's not celebrate now because you need to make one more step," said Berbatov.

"I remember the game before we qualified for the final. We played against Arsenal and we beat them 5-1, everybody was celebrating like we won the final. And I'm like, 'People we are not there yet'. 

"We need to wait, we have one more step to make and then we can celebrate."

Berbatov continued: "The person who brought them there is Jose Mourinho. I think this is the reason they brought him into the club – to win trophies.

"It doesn't matter how [they get there] – the Premier League title, the cup, something – they need one so they can get that winning mentality going. 

"Although they have a world champion in their team, the goalkeeper, he should know how things are won – especially [having lifted] the World Cup. 

"So him, Jose Mourinho, Gareth Bale – who is coming from winning mentality – will run with it. Those three are very important, they can teach them in a way how to win things and then get that winning feeling.

"And after get that feeling, trust me, you don't want to let it go."

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