Mourinho backtracks and says his players were not to blame for Antwerp defeat

Image: SpursWeb

One week ago, Jose Mourinho cut a livid figure in his post-match press conference in the Europa League, having just watched his side fall to a 1-0 defeat against Royal Antwerp.

Spurs looked second best on the night and were perhaps lucky to walk away having conceded just the one goal, with Antwerp missing a host of good opportunities.

After the game, Mourinho claimed that his future team selections would be far easier, hinting that certain players had let him down.

He said (BBC): “I would like to have made 11 changes at half-time.

“I don’t want to analyse individuals. I don’t like to do that. We have a big squad with lots of good players. It’s my responsibility to give them opportunities to play and catch the chance with both hands and be in the condition to ask for more. And tonight my future choices are going to be very easy.”

The Spurs head coach hooked Dele Alli, Carlos Vinicius, Giovani Lo Celso, and Steven Bergwijn at half-time against the Belgian side.

However, Mourinho has now backtracked on his comments, claiming that it was not the players that were the problem against Antwerp but the general attitude.

He then shifted the blame onto himself and claimed that perhaps they did not approach the match with the same pressure and attitude as they did in the knockout qualifiers.

Mourinho said (Football London): “Of course we are going to try to win the match. I don’t think against Antwerp it was the players, it was the attitude and the way we faced the game. I blame myself. We approached the knockout games seriously but perhaps this time we didn’t feel the pressure of the knockout and that the group stages are different which is true. But we were maybe waiting for the victory and it coming to us rather than trying to find it.”

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