While any current Jose Mourinho press conference these days has the distinct feeling of “dead man walking” hovering over it, nonetheless there’s a Tottenham Hotspur match coming this Sunday against Manchester United and the Spurs boss went in front of the media to talk about it.
Mourinho confirmed that there are only two injuries of note in Spurs’ first team — utility defender Ben Davies, and right back Matt Doherty. He also expressed hope that a full week of training, brought about by Spurs crashing out of the Europa League, would help his squad achieve a positive result against United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Sunday.
“I don’t look too much for the records. Because sometimes things go against the stats, or the tendencies, or what the records are saying. I go with confidence because I believe in us, I believe in the work we are doing this week to try to prepare the match the best we can. I believe, I don’t want to go to the match with other things in mind. Then, we are ready. We are working well during this week.
“For the wrong reasons, which is knocked out of Europa League, but for the wrong reason, we were able to have a week to work, we didn’t have many, for the good reasons, we didn’t have many during the season. And now we had it. And that makes me positive. I enjoy the work this week. And I’m positive.”
It’s good that Mourinho’s positive, because much of the rest of the fanbase emphatically is not. The draw against Newcastle United last weekend and Mourinho’s “same coach, different players” quip seemed to crystallize opinion against the Portuguese manager this week, with his tactics and comments universally derided by both pundits and Spurs fans.
Interestingly, Mourinho was not asked about those comments or about the state of his job in this press conference. He may have been granted a reprieve by the breaking news on the death of Prince Phillip, which was announced by Buckinham Palace this morning. Mourinho specifically referenced Prince Phillip’s passing and offered his remorse and respect for the royal family.
“I’m sorry because I just read some sad news about Prince Philip. So I would like to express my condolences to the Royal family and to be very honest and say I have deep, deep, the utmost respect for the Royal family so my deep condolences and I believe that it is not just this country that is going to be sharing these feeling, because I’m not English and I know that many like myself, we have the utmost respect so I’m sorry to stop.
“I have the utmost respect. I feel sad for the departure of Prince Phillip on a personal basis because I have only positive feelings and for the meaning of the family I feel very sorry. Unfortunately it is life and we have to keep going.”
Spurs kick off at home against Manchester United this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. BST.