Mourinho confident of top-four finish for Tottenham

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho believes his side will finish in the top four of the Premier League this season.

Spurs’ chances of a fourth successive finish in the Champions League qualification places looked a lost cause when the Portuguese took over three-and-a-half weeks ago, as they were 12 points behind Chelsea.

That gap has been cut down to six following three wins from four under Mourinho, with a game against Frank Lampard’s side to come next week.

They will hope to make further inroads against Wolves this weekend in a bid to get back to where Mourinho says they belong.

“We know where we belong. We don’t belong to the second part of the table where we were, we don’t even belong to position seven or eight where we are in this moment,” Mourinho said.

“We know where we belong and we believe at the end of the season we are going to be there.

“But if you can accelerate the process and get results to put you sooner or later in these positions obviously this is the best that can happen to us, but again we need a little bit of time.

“We improve in many things. And we’re going to improve. We have the talent and the desire so I am sure we are going to improve.”

Mourinho has waxed lyrical about the squad he has inherited at Spurs and insists his January plans are to be on the training ground rather than trying to add players to his side.

The 56-year-old has had a hectic start to life at Spurs, with six games in 21 days, and he has been unable to put the hours in with this squad to fully implement his ideas.

The fixture schedule eases slightly after the festive period and that is where the Portuguese intends to focus his attention, rather than signing players.

“I want to work,” he said. “I’m going to have time to work, which until now I don’t have.

“I complain every day with my staff, the frustration of I want to do a certain kind of training. I just can’t do it. It’s frustrating. I love pre-season to work. I don’t have.

Mourinho wants to spend more time training with his squad
Mourinho wants to spend more time training with his squad

“January we’re going to have a little bit and then depending on the week in February where we are not going to play the Premier League, we are going to have another week.

“This is what I want. I want time. The calendar, the fixtures is going to give me a little bit of time in January and February. That’s what I want. I want that week to work.”

Mourinho got a first real look at some of his fringe players in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday as Ryan Sessegnon, Kyle Walker-Peters, Giovani Lo Celso and Juay Foyth all started for the first time under him.

Sessegnon scored and did well while Mourinho singled Foyth out for praise.

Neither of those will be in the starting line-up at Molineux, though.

A fantastic feeling for me to get my 1st start and goal for @spursofficial tonight but ultimately disappointed we didn’t get the win. Tough game but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and go again at the weekend #COYS💙Thanks for the support! 💙

— Ryan Sessegnon (@RyanSessegnon) December 11, 2019

“The team for Sunday was decided before Wednesday,” Mourinho said. “So Wednesday doesn’t make an impact on the Sunday decisions. But of course in the way I know some players had a very good performance.

“I couldn’t hide from you that we have a few players one step ahead because of performance.”

Spurs head to Molineux in a battle of the Portuguese coaches, Nuno Espirito Santo winning plaudits for the job he has done.

“He’s getting some praise for the work he’s doing,” he said. “In my opinion, not enough. He deserves more than what he’s getting. Fantastic work.

“I hope he understands what I want to say. A much better manager than a player. I’m not saying he was a bad player, I’m saying he was a much better coach.”