Mourinho interview about pressure from pre-Spurs sacking released

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Jose Mourinho opened up on how he copes with the pressure involved with managing top clubs and about his use of data in an interview that was held before his Spurs sacking.

Mourinho was relieved of his duties as Tottenham head coach last month but did not have to wait too long to make his return to management, with AS Roma confirming last week that he will take over from Paulo Fonseca at the end of the season. 

The former Spurs boss has also become a brand ambassador for XTB.com, a foreign exchange and financial trading platform.

As part of that deal, he sat down to speak with them just before his Tottenham exit about aspects of his management. 

Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of Tottenham in the interview but the 58-year-old did provide insight into the way he deals with the pressure that he is subjected to at the top level. 

He is quoted by Football.London as saying: “It comes down to preparation. It’s important to always be prepared for all eventualities, because, in this way, you can adapt to pressure moments by relying on your preparation and your repetition.

“For me, every game has a pressure because they all mean different things. There is pressure with a derby, a semi-final to make the final, a final to win the trophy, and three points to progress up the table and not lose your position.

“The best way to keep the pressure away is to prepare with consistency, and also in normal conditions so the players don’t feel anything different.

“Once the whistle goes, I am only focused on the match and the moment. I don’t think about me or my emotions.

“I think about what is in front of me and what we need to do to adapt to what is happening.

“We don’t let outside influences affect what we do inside. Pressure is always there in football, so we focus on the basics and our preparation and we keep the environment fun but committed and professional.

“When making big decisions, I make sure I have all the information I need to hand. This is the top ‘tactic’ because it is impossible to make any decisions without knowing all the details and taking time to understand them.”

Mourinho also spoke about the need to marry quantitative and qualitative assessments, stressing that mere data is often not enough to make decisions.

The former Spurs boss added: “They [instinct and data] both have an important role. I think if all decisions are based solely on data, then many factors will be missed; data doesn’t give the full picture.

“When you sign a player, it isn’t just their data but their mentality, their support system, their work ethic, that are so important.

“You see that when players make a step to a big club, they need to have the mentality to take on the pressure and the expectation, and deliver.”

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