Mourinho explains why team’s ‘mental barrier’ contributed to nervy finish

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Image: SpursWeb

Tottenham Hotspur secured a much needed three points against West Ham United in Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge of the club.

It looked like it was going to be a comfortable victory for the Lilywhites who raced into a three-goal lead and were looking in cruise control.

However, the home side got back into the game in the final fifteen minutes, scoring two goals to make the scoreline more respectable. Tottenham suddenly seemed to be all over the place towards the final quarter of the game and gave the away fans a nervy finish to the game.

Jose Mourinho claimed that his side deserved to win by a much bigger scoreline given the performance they displayed. However, he didn’t seem overly bothered with the mistakes that were made in the final fifteen minutes with the Portuguese manager putting it down to fatigue.

He also said that the mental barrier about winning away from home could have contributed to the nervy defending in the last few minutes.

Speaking to Football.London, the new Spurs boss said, “If somebody didn’t watch the game and just knows the result they will think it is very, very difficult for us to win. the feeling is that we were closer to 4-0 than West Ham were to 3-1.

“This is the Premier League, that first goal changed things a little bit. My players also paid the price for a very, very difficult week.

“A week where they arrived from national team, some arrived from difficult matches, some of them travelling, changed the manager, a new guy arrived, new training sessions, new ideas, the emotional thing that surrounds that.

“I don’t think that is ever easy for a footballer to work with the coaching staff and then the next day other people are there. Difficult things to process, so I think physically the team had a break and probably also a little bit scared of that mental barrier of the bad results away.

“So the last 25 minutes were not easy but I think we played very well for an hour, really, really well and I am very happy.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While the performance in the first hour of the game was exemplary, they did sit back and invite pressure on to themselves towards the end of the second half. While it is possible that fatigue played a role in the final minutes, the Portuguese’s substitutions certainly didn’t have the desired effect.

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