Craig Burley has claimed that Jose Mourinho might be quietly happy at being knocked out of the FA Cup on Wednesday so he could now focus more of his efforts on finishing in the top four.
Mourinho named a strong lineup for the clash at Goodison Park with Harry Kane and Serge Aurier being the only two players not to be named in the starting eleven from the team that started against West Brom on Sunday.
The Spurs boss later clarified that Kane admitted to him that he was not ready to start two games in quick succession after recovering his injury.
However, the Portuguese coach did bring on the talismanic striker on just a few minutes into the start of the second half, with his side chasing an equaliser.
Despite Tottenham looking threatening going forward and scoring four times on the night, they also made a series of poor defensive mistakes at the back.
In the end, Mourinho’s men were knocked out of the competition by an extra time winner from Everton substitute Bernard.
Burley claimed that the Spurs boss would be relieved as he can now save Kane’s legs and focus on finishing in the Champions League places.
The pundit told ESPN FC: “In some ways, it [the defeat] could please him [Mourinho]. With Kane coming back a little quicker than we thought, there’s less games for him to occupy his mind in terms of trying to get into the top four.
“With Kane, there’s a smidgen of a chance. Without him, forget it – absolutely forget it – but with him they have a chance of getting into the top four.
“If Mourinho can achieve that it’ll be worthwhile dropping out of these competitions.”
Spurs Web Opinion
There is no doubt that our fixture list was really cramming up and Mourinho might well have looked at it being knocked out as a silver lining in terms of more rest and recovery. However, there is no doubt based on the team he started and the substitutions he made that Mourinho was desperate to progress in the competition.
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