‘Never knocked out’ – Mourinho eyes third Europa League crown

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Not many managers can boast the record of success they have in Europe compared to Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese having tasted success in the Europa League with both Porto and Manchester United.

The Portuguese coach will be going for a ‘three-peat’ as his Tottenham side get ready to begin the competition with a home game against LASK this evening.

Such is the Tottenham boss’ confidence in this competition that he already announced his intention to win it last season even before the Lilywhites had qualified.

Tottenham, like Mourinho, have won the competition twice in their history (back when it was called the UEFA cup) but the club’s last taste of success came way back in 1984.

The Lilywhites were seen as a major force in Europe in their heyday and are slowly but surely gaining the respect they deserve around the continent over recent years, having fallen just one step short of being crowned European champions a year and a half ago.

They will be hoping to get their hands on a European trophy for the first time in almost four decades this season but Mourinho is under no illusions how about how difficult the competition is to win.

When asked if Spurs can win the Europa League this season, Mourinho told Football.London: “We’re going to try. It’s the third time I played the competition and the other two times, one with Porto and one with United, we managed to win it. So the record in the Europa League is great, never knocked out. Of course, lost a few matches in the group phase but managed always to win it.

“It is difficult, it is a very long competition, the group phase is tricky then you go to the knockouts and you get teams coming from the Champions League which is very unfair. If you play Champions League and you don’t qualify you go home. In the Europa League group phase if you finish third you go home, you don’t have another competition to play.

“It is what it is. A very long competition and difficult, but at this moment let’s focus on the points we need, 10, 11 points you need to qualify through the group stage.”

Spurs Web Opinion

We have been in the Europa League many times over the last two decades. Even though we were always one of the favourites to win it on paper, this is perhaps the first season where I am genuinely confident that we stand a chance of doing so.

A club like us, who are starved of recent success, cannot afford to thumb our noses at the Europe League like we have done in the past. The fact that Jose is taking it seriously combined with the insane bench strength we have, gives us a great chance of going all the way.

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