Mourinho explains the sacrifice in fixing Spurs’ defence

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has insisted that it will take time for him and his coaching staff to iron out the current defensive issues and highlighted the difficulty of improving in defence without sacrificing the team’s attacking qualities.

Spurs have played free-flowing football in most of their matches since the 56-year-old arrived last month and have scored a bucket load of goals. However, the defensive problems that were recurrent under Pochettino have continued to persist in certain games.

The Spurs boss admitted that the team was conceding too many poor goals and revealed that the mistakes had been analysed internally.

Speaking to Football.London, he said, “Yep [we’re conceding too many goals]. I cannot go, should not go too deep. I have to go deep internally [within the club] but mistakes, yes.

“In a difficult match where it’s not easy to control the opponent in the end you realise that the two goals you concede were two bad goals to concede.

“Again, if it is a phenomenal action, great, fantastic. But it was a short corner. We know how to defend short corners. We know how to defend Willian coming to the inside for his best foot. We know the angle he normally chooses to curve that ball. And then the penalty.

“So yes, it’s something that’s not good. Something that comes from the beginning of the season even more behind and until this moment we try to do it but we didn’t manage to do it.”

The Portuguese manager insisted that he will be able to fix the problems in due course but pointed out that it would be easy to shut shop and avoid conceding goals. He was instead adamant that he doesn’t want to hamper the team’s natural attacking instincts.

Mourinho added, “I know how to do it. I know how to do it, but to do it 100% I am going to take away from the team some qualities that we want to keep.

“Then it is more difficult to do it because to play for a clean sheet and to put all the focus on the clean sheet, on the improvement of the defensive organisation and try to kill the mistakes that we make, that is not difficult to do.

“The difficulty is to do it with players that are the players they are, with the habits they have, the difficult thing is to put it right defensively without losing the qualities we can have offensively.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While it is true that we are making too many individual errors defensively, the bigger problem is the lack of creativity in central midfield. Hopefully, we will see Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele feature more prominently during this busy run of fixtures. Neither Dier nor Sissoko seem capable of providing enough going forward.

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