Jose Mourinho reveals which player he called ‘Zidane’ at half-time against LASK

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Jose Mourinho
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Tottenham Hotspur defeated LASK 3-0 in the Europa League group stages last night, moving past the bitterly disappointing draw against West Ham at the weekend.

Jose Mourinho rang the changes at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, handing debuts to Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius, while bringing in the likes of Winks, Lucas, and Lamela.

However, one player who kept his place from the West Ham draw was Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who seems to be one of the first names on the teamsheet these days.

The Danish enforcer was his typical rugged self against the Austrian outfit in North London last night, breaking up play and recycling possession to the creative forces in the team.

Jose Mourinho revealed in his post-match interview that the team were laughing and joking at half-time, comparing Hojbjerg to Zidane for the pirouettes he was trying.

It is clear from Mourinho’s words that he wants Hojbjerg to keep it simple and remain the consistent beating heart of the new-look Tottenham team.

He said (Football London): “Yeah, (laughs), we were having some laughs at half-time because we were calling him ‘Zidane’ and saying ‘Ok Pierre, take it easy. You tried it once (the double pirouette), don’t try to do it again because that’s not you’.

“But fantastic player and a player the team needs. That’s why we started with him because, to be honest, we respect LASK and we saw the way they destroyed Sporting in Lisbon and they are much better than what they looked because we were taking it seriously.

“Pierre is a good player and a good leader and he’s a captain without the armband. He’s a guy who doesn’t need the armband as he had in Southampton to influence other people. Very brave. So happy with Pierre.”

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