José Mourinho Admits Tottenham Were Not 'Psychologically Strong Enough' in West Ham Draw

19 October 2020 11:00

Tottenham manager José Mourinho has claimed his side did not have the mental strength needed to protect their lead in Sunday's 3-3 draw with West Ham.

Spurs were 3-0 up early on as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min ran the show, but three goals inside the last eight minutes, including a stunning injury-time strike from Manuel Lanzini, ensured the spoils were shared.

It had looked as if Spurs were going to hit close to double figures, so Mourinho admitted (via The Telegraph) he was bitterly disappointed to see his side give up the win so late on.

“I think you can imagine how frustrated I am and how frustrated the players are, but that’s football,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s football for us in a negative way and in a positive way for them, but that’s football. It’s easier for me to praise them than criticise us. It’s easier for me to analyse internally and discuss with the players than speak about it and my feelings now.

“The game was under control, we had chances to score a fourth goal. Not deliberately, but the team were dropping, with [Harry] Winks we found balance again and were in control.

Kane & Son had been pulling the strings | NEIL HALL/Getty Images

"It was exactly when we were in control that we conceded the first and their belief went up. My guys were not strong enough to cope with it psychologically. The last few seconds we lost two points.”

Mourinho was quick to insist that Spurs did not get complacent, while he also took the chance to state that the excitement surrounding Gareth Bale's return to the club did not impact his players either.

"The decision not to start him was I think a good decision," he added (via "A decision to show that he doesn't have a beautiful chair waiting for him in the team and he sits there the first time he can. It was a message to the team that in this team everybody has to fight for positions.

Bale's return did not go according to plan | Clive Rose/Getty Images

"He's very well accepted in the group. Everyone likes him, and I believe he also likes what he found here. So everything is positive and the focus was not on him. The focus was on the game and he was on the bench for 65 minutes or so and I don't think so, I don't think at all.

"It's a pity that he couldn't score that fourth goal which was a beauty and would have killed the game. But that's football."

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Source: 90min