Jose Mourinho wants fresh Tottenham to capitalise on midweek off against Man Utd

Jonathan Veal, PA
·2-min read

Jose Mourinho is hopeful that his side can benefit from a free midweek when Manchester United visit on Sunday afternoon.

Spurs have not had the luxury of a full week on the training ground ahead of a Premier League game this season because of their Europa League and Carabao Cup commitments.

But their embarrassing demise to Dinamo Zagreb in the last 16 does now mean the majority of their remaining games this season come on the back of a free week.

That cannot be said of United, who travelled to Spain to take on Granada on Thursday, and Mourinho wants to take advantage.

“We are working well during this week,” he said. “For the wrong reasons, which is knocked out of Europa League, but for the wrong reason, we were able to have a week to work, we didn’t have many, for the good reasons, we didn’t have many during the season.

“And now we had it. And that makes me positive. I enjoy the work this week. And I’m positive.

“I don’t look too much for the records. Because sometimes things go against the stats, or the tendencies, or what the records are saying.

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“I go with confidence because I believe in us, I believe in the work we are doing this week to try to prepare the match the best we can. I believe, I don’t want to go to the match with other things in mind. Then, we are ready.”

Only Leicester have been awarded more penalties than United this season in the Premier League while the Old Trafford club have been given four in their last three games against Spurs, though one was rescinded by VAR.

Mourinho has often made barbs about the number of spot-kicks his former club get awarded, but says he cannot be worried about it before the game.

“I cannot go to a football match concerned,” he said. “I can’t. I don’t think it’s the right frame of mind to go to a football match concerned.

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“So I’m not going concerned. And I don’t want my players (to be concerned). They have to go to a football match with positive feelings, enjoying the game, enjoying the dimension and the difficulty of the game.

“Coping with the responsibility. Coping with the pressure, good pressure. So that’s what I want. I want to be positive and happy to play against such a giant club, and such a good team.

“And of course with the ambition to win the points, because the points, when the game starts, the points are going to be there on the grass, and we are going to play for the points.”