Spurs player aims moral support dig at former bosses

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Lucas Moura has welcomed the way in which Jose Mourinho conducts himself with the players and insists he appreciates the Spurs head coach’s honesty while discussing performances.

Mourinho’s appointment has certainly been a positive for Moura, who has been a regular in the Tottenham side since the Portuguese coach arrived at the club.

The Brazilian had to be content with a bit-part role under Mauricio Pochettino but admitted that he is now feeling the trust of a manager for the first time since arriving in Europe in what could be considered to be a dig at his former boss.

Last season, Moura scored a stunning second half hat trick against Ajax to fire Spurs into the Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history only to find himself on the bench for the European showpiece at the expense of Harry Kane.

Speaking to ESPN Brasil., the 27-year-old said: “I am a little wary to talk about him. Because he’s praised me in interviews and has given me moral support that I have never had since I arrived in Europe.

“He’s given me an incredible game sequence as well, which did very well for me. The player needs that confidence, it’s crucial in football.

“And he’s one of the greatest managers in the history of football. It’s not me who’s saying that, it’s the numbers, it’s the facts, for everything he’s accomplished, everything he’s ever done.”

The former PSG man was also asked about the Tottenham head coach’s public criticism of his players.

Mourinho singled out Tanguy Ndombele’s poor first-half showing in the 1-1 draw against Burnley in March (BBC Sport) and the 57-year-old has received some criticism over the way he critisised the club record signing in public (talkSPORT).

However, Moura revealed that Mourinho was very open to deal with on a day to day basis and insisted that the players appreciated his honesty.

He added: “What I can say is that on a daily basis, he’s very different. Both in training, in the way he gives training, how much he gets involved in training, in the tactical part, in the technical part, even in the warm-up. He’s a guy who lives football, he breathes football 24 hours a day, I think. He’s always motivating us. Even when the training is at the gym, for weight training, he’s always there.

“And in dealing with the players, on a daily basis, he’s very, very, very sincere, very transparent. And I’ve said this in other interviews, when he needs to criticise, he will criticise. Regardless of who it is. He’ll speak to the player’s face, ‘you didn’t play anything today’. I’m being a little modest here, because sometimes the words are different. But then, the next day, everything is fine, it’s normal, because he says he is for the good of the player.

“He knows that we’re professionals, we are mostly fathers of families. Then he will say ‘you didn’t play anything, you did this and this’. The next day he’ll play with you, he’ll smile, he’ll tell a joke. He makes everyone comfortable. Everyone who has something to say to him, he makes them very comfortable. Nobody has a flea in their ear, with one foot behind to be able to talk to him, to knock on his door. He gives that opening.

“So the day-to-day life with him is very pleasant, very fun. It’s really been a fantastic experience to work with him.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Players who are hard-working, honest and professional generally always tend to love working with Mourinho. However, he is extremely demanding and as a result players who are a bit laid-back (like Pogba at Man Utd and Ndombele at Spurs) have had their issues with the Portuguese.

However, the Spurs boss seems to be committed to helping Ndombele turn his Tottenham career around. Hopefully, he is able to mend his relationship with the 23-year-old and we get to see the best of him next season.

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