'I had no bench to react to it!' - Mourinho says Spurs lack substitute options compared to Man Utd

Goal.com

Jose Mourinho bemoaned the lack of options available to him in the wake of Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Manchester United , saying that he has "no bench to react" to Friday's Premier League return.

Spurs were playing their first match since the coronavirus outbreak, facing off with fellow top-four hopefuls Manchester United in a match that saw the two teams split points behind goals from Steven Bergwijn and Bruno Fernandes.

As a result of the extended break, several key Tottenham players returned to health, with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son returning to the lineup after injuries early this season.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

However, Mourinho was left without Dele Alli and Lucas Moura on the day, with the former suspended while the latter missed out due to an injury suffered in training.

Without the duo, Mourinho turned to the likes of Gedson Fernandes and Giovani Lo Celso, only using two of the five substitutes permitted as part of the Premier League's return.

"Happy with things and unhappy with others," Mourinho told Sky Sports following the draw. "What did I like? I liked the team attitude, organisation, control, being solid. Giving to United what they don't like.

"Unhappy with the fact that the way I was reading the game I had no bench to react to it. When they became more dominant we were tired up front and could not press."

He added: "The players did fantastic work defensively - they had two dangerous shots that Hugo Lloris saved and nothing else. Everything else was under control. For 70 minutes, when we had the energy, we were strong with the ball and we knew what we wanted to do.

"I have to admit for the last 15 minutes I would love to have had Lucas Moura here, Dele Alli here. The last 15 minutes were difficult for us.

"Lucas and Dele are players we need and we could feel that today. When you look to their bench and then to ours the difference in attacking options. Hopefully, they will be back for West Ham because in this moment it is very, very important to change players."

Mourinho pointed to the wealth of options on Manchester United's bench, with his counterpart, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, turning to Paul Pogba, Odion Ighalo, Mason Greenwood, Nemanja Matic and Eric Bailly, with Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard among the unused substitutes.

"It was not just Paul," he said. "They had Ighalo, they had Jesse, which is a guy who can change a game, Juan. That's what the five changes can do when you have options."

Spurs will be back in action on Tuesday as they play host to West Ham, while Manchester United are at home to Sheffield United on Wednesday. 

What to read next