Jose Mourinho says he avoided the Tottenham Hotspur fans after their 3-2 win over West Ham because he did not want to take the focus away from his players’ performance.
The Portuguese tactician took charge of his first game as Spurs manager on Saturday and oversaw an impressive victory over their London rivals.
Why did Mourinho avoid Spurs fans? Five things to know…
- Mourinho masterminded a first win as Spurs boss on Saturday with a 3-2 win over West Ham.
- The result ended a barren 12-match winless run away from home for Spurs.
- Three points bumped Spurs into the top half of the table with nine points now separating them from the top four.
- After the final whistle Mourinho chose to “stay away” from the travelling supporters.
- He has now explained that his decision was because he wanted his players to receive the plaudits for their display.
Goals from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane ensured three points headed to north London, elevating the Lilywhites up to ninth in the Premier League table.
Despite a late comeback from the hosts, Mourinho’s side were able to get the job done, ending a 12-game winless run on the road in the process.
It was an emphatic return to the English top-flight for the ex-Manchester United boss, but he opted against basking in the glory of a first win after the final whistle, instead allowing his players to receive the full attention of the travelling Spurs fans.
“At the end of the game I didn’t want to go to our fans as I felt I shouldn’t, it’s about the players, not about me, so apologies for that,” he told the club’s official website.
“I stayed away but I appreciate a few thousand were there and right behind the team, enjoying and understanding and supporting – now they are as happy as we are.”
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During his assessment of the match, Mourinho was particularly impressed with Spurs’ second goal, a pinpoint cross from Son to tee up Lucas.
It was only the Brazilian’s second league goal this season – but a well-wrought one at that – and was a direct product of a move devised on the training ground, according to Mourinho.
RATINGS: Every player marked out of 10 from José Mourinho's first game as Spurs boss – https://t.co/rKhQwzm1DT
Best = 9/10 🔥
Worst = 2/10 🤢
He is back.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 23, 2019
He added: “It was great. It’s not just passion – we did something that we did in training, Lucas arrived in a position as a consequence of a dynamic we did in training and for a coach, for my staff, we thought about it, we prepared it, we trained it and when it happens, that’s the best feeling a coach can have.”