Jose Mourinho blames Spurs’ attitude in apology to supporters after Europa League exit

Jose Mourinho blames Spurs’ attitude in apology to supporters after Europa League exit

Jose Mourinho apologised to Tottenham fans after they were dumped out of the Europa League at the last 16 stage by Dinamo Zagreb.

Spurs led 2-0 after the first leg, but were defeated 3-0 after extra-time in a shocking collapse.

Mourinho spoke to BT Sport after the game, and believed that Spurs lost largely due to their attitude approaching the game.

“If I forget the last ten minutes of extra-time where we did something to get a different result and to go through, in the 90 minutes and in the first half of extra-time, [there] was one team that decided to leave everything on the pitch,” he said. “They left sweat, energy, blood. In the end of the game, even tears of happiness. Very humble, very committed. I have to praise them.

“On the other side, my team – I repeat, my team, I am there – didn’t look like it was playing an important match. And if for any one of them it’s not an important match, for me it is, for the respect that I have for my own career and my own job. Every match is an important match for me.

“I believe that for every Tottenham fan, every match matters. That attitude is needed.

Jose MourinhoJose Mourinho
Mourinho was frank in his assessment of Spurs’ defeat | Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

“To say that I feel sad is not enough because I feel it goes much further than sadness. I just left Dinamo’s dressing room, where i went to priase thw guys. I feel sorry that one team that is not my team won the game based on attitdue, based on compromise. I feel more than sad. That’s it. Football is not just about players thinking they have more quality than others. The basics of football go beyond that. It’s the attitude, and they beat us on that.

“Many times I fear my thoughts, my feelings, but I don’t blame myself in the sense of I always share them. So before the game I told the players the risks of a bad attitude. I told them at half-time at 0-0 the risk of playing the way we were playing. And it happened because I believe my players only realised that the game was at risk when they scored the second goal and it went to extra-time.

“I’m disappointed of a difference of attitude between one team and another, and I repeat so I don’t have any doubts, I feel sorry that my team – I belong to that team – I feel sorry that my team didn’t bring to the game the basics of football but the basics of life, which is to respect our jobs and to give everything.”

It was put to Mourinho that Thursday might be a seismic night for the club that effectively spelled the end of a few Spurs careers, but he was coy on such a suggestion.

“We are in a situation where in this moment especially with you – when I say you, I say press and people at home, Tottenham fans and football fans – I don’t think it is for me to go in that direction,” he said.

“I don’t want to say much more than on behalf of my team, in spite of maybe some of them, they don’t share my feelings and my emotions, I can only apologise to the Tottenham supporters, and I hope that the players feel the same way as I feel.”

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