‘Watford took it very seriously’ – Jose Mourinho finds positives in Tottenham defeat

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Jose Mourinho preferred to highlight the positives from Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 defeat to the Hornets in their final pre-season friendly ahead of the new campaign.

With several of Tottenham’s first-team stars away on intentional duty, Spurs travelled with a weakened side to Vicarage Road.

The Lilywhites failed to get going for the majority of the first-half, with Domingos Quina’s 20th-minute strike and Andre Gray’s penalty giving them a commanding lead going into the interval.

Spurs gave a better account of themselves in the second half and eventually managed to get one back as Son Heung-min converted from the spot after Erik Lamela was bought down in the box.

Mourinho’s men tried in vain to find an equaliser and the scoreline could have been made worse in the end if not for Son chasing back to clear off his own line just before the final whistle.

The Tottenham head coach insisted that he was not bothered by the result and that it was important for several players to get some minutes under their belt.

He told the club’s official website: “I would say that those are the positives, players who needed minutes had them, some players played 90 minutes.

“Also positive was that Watford took it very seriously. I liked that. They competed, they were aggressive, they made the game very hard, those are all positives.

“In the same way I wasn’t super-enthusiastic after winning three friendlies, wins that don’t give us any points, I’m not sad that we lost this one.

“I said to the players at half-time, maybe in the Premier League if we are losing 2-0 at half-time, we have the second half to fight for the result.

“It was a game to give us minutes and a competitive mentality and I really liked the fact that in the last minute, we are fighting to try to score, and then Sonny makes a 100-metre sprint to stop the 3-1 on the counter-attack. So, overall, it was okay.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Performances are obviously more important than results during pre-season and I did not think our performance was too bad considering the players that we were missing. There are clearly areas we need to improve on both defensively and going forward. However, we have visibly played a more high pressing, possession-based game during all four of our pre-season friendlies. It will be interesting to see if we stick with a similar approach against Everton next week or if we will revert back to playing on the counter-attack.

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