Despite getting turned over 3-1 by Bayern Munich in their final Champions League group match, new Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho insisted that he was happy with his decision to name a weakened team for the match.
The new Spurs boss handed starts to Juan Foyth, Kyle Walker-Peters, Ryan Sessegnon, and Giovani Lo Celso for the first time since he arrived at the club last month.
Although Tottenham looked defensively shaky on the night and were well beaten in the end by Bayern, Mourinho insisted that the game was a good opportunity for him to understand some of his players better.
When asked what were the positive and negative things he learned about his players in the 90 minutes, the new Spurs boss told Football.London, “The negative I won’t tell you. It would be unfair to speak about conclusions.
“No conclusions, just information and that is very important for me. Some of the players played their first minutes with me.
“Some of the players like Foyth was the first time he played. It was important to collect some information, information you normally collect in the season or in pre-season. I just arrived and I need information.
“The fact that we qualified against Olympiacos gave us this possibility and the fact that we played so well in the last match and we won 5-0, we were in a positive, which allowed me to come here and risk what happened.”
He admitted that he wanted to rest some players and give some younger players the opportunity to show what they can do, even though he knew Bayern would name a strong side for the match.
The 56-year-old added, “I am happy with the decisions I made, I hope our supporters understand what I did.
“Internally we all agreed that was the best option for the players that are playing every minute and also the best option for the players that are not playing and for the young players that need to develop.
“So internally we made this decision and we think it was the best decision for the team. We risked because we played against a very good team, a team that came with two defeats in a row, a team that cannot lose tonight a third match in a row, a second at home.
“So we knew they would come very strong, on top of that they had a bench full of top players, so if they needed in extreme situations Lewandowski to come to the game they would have him on the bench. I decided not to have even Kane or Alli on the bench.
“Different moments for both teams and me and Flick manage our team and resources in different ways. I will prefer a better result, I would prefer even a 3-2 defeat with a Son goal in the last minute but that is what it is.
“But I am happy with the information I take back. I take lots of information on players that is going to influence my decisions in the future.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The only positives from yesterday were the performances of Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon, who both did quite well in their first start under Mourinho. The two full-backs, however, were quite poor and after yesterday’s performance Walker-Peters likely moved even further down the pecking order as he seemed quite out of his depth against top-quality attackers.
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