Mourinho explains why teams will want to avoid Spurs in the knockout stages

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has insisted that the Lilywhites will be the team that all group toppers will be looking to avoid in the round of 16 stages of the Champions League.

While the Portuguese manager admitted that the busy schedule over the next month and a half could be tricky for his side, he insisted that the team will be a big threat when the knockout stages begin in February due to the fact that he will have a better understanding with his squad.

Speaking in the post-match press conference after Bayern Munich beat Spurs 3-1, Mourinho told Football.London: “I think from the teams that finished second, I think the teams that finished first will wish they don’t play against us.

“We are one of the strongest teams from the second group. I know we are a country that goes through a crazy period which many, many times leaves marks on players and teams and conditions, but by the end of February I will understand my players better, they will understand me better.

“We have two more months of work together. I think so, we will be much more ready.”

He also claimed that yesterday’s performance against Bayern wasn’t indicative of the team’s ability since it was clearly not a fixture he was prioritising.

The 56-year-old named a fairly weakened team preferring to start with the likes of Ryan Sessegnon, Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth for the first time since he took over.

Speaking about the game, Mourinho said: “Today was not a question of being or not being ready. Today was a very difficult situation.

“It was play and prepare a game where you put more emphasis on the players who rest than the players who play and the result that you are fighting for. That is very difficult.

“I try to hide that feeling from the players but the players are intelligent guys and they understand clearly my focus was not on today. My focus was on what next.”

Spurs Web Opinion

As long as we avoid Barcelona and PSG in the round of 16 stages, there is no reason why we cannot go far in the competition once again this season. With us having to play the second leg away from home in the round of 16, overcoming either of the aforementioned two sides will be extremely challenging.

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