Tottenham Hotspur might’ve displayed their dominance at the weekend with a 5-0 thrashing of Burnley, but they now travel to face Bayern Munich in the final game of the UEFA Champions League group stages.
The last time they met at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the visitors ran riot with a shocking 7-2 win, which Mauricio Pochettino credited for Spurs players giving up towards the end.
The players are still recovering from the embarrassment, but current manager Jose Mourinho doesn’t want them experiencing it again.
He spoke about how he’s banned his Spurs players from watching the video of that defeat and how he wants them to focus on improving themselves than stopping Bayern from running riot again.
Mourinho explained, “I forbid any image of it [the 7-2],” Mourinho said. “I watched it a couple of times: me, my staff and analysts try to go through every single aspect of that but not one single image for the boys. No. Not at all. We’re going to focus more on us than on Bayern.”
He also reassured that Spurs will go into the game with a different style in mind to upset the hosts, who are themselves on a mini losing streak having lost their last two Bundesliga fixtures.
The Portuguese said, “We’re going to try to develop our model of play, with different bodies, different phases, different players. But there is a certain way that we try to play football and try to develop our principles of play. And we’re totally focused on us.”
However, with Spurs already having qualified for the last 16 and now that even a win can’t guarantee them top spot, Mourinho has left many first-team players at London, opting to travel with a younger side.
He’s rested the likes of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Jan Vertonghen and is hoping the Bavarians also rest some top players in this game.
Mourinho said, “You think our team is the same without Harry Kane? It’s not the same. And, of course, Bayern depend a little on Lewandowski. Their coach thinks differently to me. I left Harry Kane at home, and I expect Lewandowski to play.”
“But maybe he gets injured [on Wednesday night] and doesn’t play at the weekend – so it’s better he thinks twice and doesn’t play Lewandowski!”, he added.
The Portuguese also reaffirmed how important it is to make sure all his players get some game-time and adapt themselves to his style.
He explained, “I arrive in mid-season, without four, five, six weeks to work and know the players – so we have to do everything while we are running. It’s very important to me that the players are coachable and open. I think the boys need me and my job is to help them.”
Mourinho will look to end Spurs group stages with a compelling win to enact revenge for that 7-2 loss, before waiting for the Round of 16 draw which will take place on Monday.