‘I’m really proud’ – Mourinho opens up on virtual training and living with his staff

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Jose Mourinho has admitted that he has been left extremely pleased with how the Spurs squad conducted themselves with regards to training during the coronavirus lockdown.

With footballing action suspended at the beginning of March, the Spurs players trained together regularly via Zoom, before the green light was finally given to return to Hotspur Way this month.

Mourinho lived with a number of his coaching staff during the lockdown and admitted that he used the break to analyse games that the team had played over the last few months.

When asked about living with his coaching staff, he told Sky Sports: “It was a decision that we made, to stay all together. By staying together we could easily communicate, not breaking rules, you know that I had the episode with Tanguy, but with my assistants, we were living in the same house.

“We could work, we could analyse, we could prepare for the Zoom. Coming to the club mid-season, it was also important because now we have lots of time to analyse all of our matches.

“To be honest, there was a period where we were coming here [to the training ground], it’s just a couple of minutes in the car, but when we were coming, we were putting on the music from the Rolling Stones, Living in a Ghost Town, because it is really what we were feeling.”

The Spurs boss also talked about how the joint training sessions proved a welcome distraction for the players and gave them a routine to stick to.

He revealed that the families of players often got involved in the sessions and admitted that he was pleased with the hard work that the players and staff put in.

The 57-year-old added: “It was much more about us as a group, about us as a family, to try and keep some discipline in our lives. The Zoom session, every day, 10 am, everybody waking up at the same time, having a bit of work and finishing a bit of work, we stay together in the Zoom, having a laugh, conversation, discussing a few things.

“As a club, we made a decision even to protect players and to protect society, we made the decision for no travelling, nobody was leaving to their countries, everybody stayed in London, and the majority of the players live around the area of the training ground or not far from Enfield, and it was very important to keep mentally healthy.

“We had dogs, we had cats, we had babies, we had family, we had lots of things going on [during the training calls] but it was funny and the guys were bringing the kids for the beginning or end of the session for a couple of weeks.

“We record it and we have it, and we share, and even the mums were getting the videos of the children working with the dads, while the dads were trying to keep fit.

“It was really fantastic because as you can imagine, different players, different houses, some in flats, some in gardens, some with gyms. As a club, to help them have the minimum conditions, we delivered foods, we had nutritionists speaking with them all the time, we had the sports science boys together with myself and my staff, and really, really it was group work that pleased me very much.

“I am so, so pleased, more than pleased, proud of the players as a group and as individuals. Everybody on time, nobody coming late, having a little bit of fun, enjoying it, finishing the session, staying together for a bit longer, it was good, and even for me, arriving in the club, still learning the players and the personality, I think it was good for me to try to know them better. I’m really proud of what they did.”

Spurs Web Opinion

The fact that Mourinho chose to live together with his staff and analyse our games instead of taking a break shows how committed and driven he is to succeed at Tottenham. Hopefully, the break has given him and his coaching staff the clarity they need in terms of knowing how to approach the remainder of the season.

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