90min

Jose Mourinho Criticises Attitude of Tottenham Players During Leicester Defeat

James Merrills
Mourinho saw his side lose for the second game in a row in the Premier League.
Mourinho saw his side lose for the second game in a row in the Premier League. / Pool/Getty Images
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Jose Mourinho questioned the attitude of some his players following Tottenham's 2-0 defeat to Leicester, but defended Serge Aurier after he conceded a first half penalty.

Spurs came out of the traps slowly against Brendan Rodgers' Foxes, and a poor opening 45 minutes was topped off by Aurier's clumsy challenge on Wesley Fofana. Initially, Craig Pawson waved away Leicester's appeals for a spot kick, only for VAR to advise the referee to take another look on the pitch side monitor.

It didn't take him long to overturn his decision, and Jamie Vardy did what he does best to coolly convert the resulting penalty. That sucker-punch before the break seemed to knock the stuffing out of the hosts, and Toby Alderweireld's unfortunate own goal compounded Spurs' misery further.

After the game, Mourinho refused to single out Aurier, who has now given away four Premier League penalties since he joined the club, for criticism, in stark contrast to how many remember the Portuguese boss describing the Ivorian's defending in the club's infamous Amazon documentary.

"I would describe it as a mistake. Not a moment of madness," Mourinho remarked to Sky Sports. "I have to admit you have to know where you are, that you are inside of the box, the player goes away from your own goal without any kind of danger. I would describe it as a mistake.

"I know my players. I know my players qualities, I know my players little problems. Serge was phenomenal against Liverpool, probably our best player and today he made this mistake.

"Did this mistake cost us the three points? I think it's unfair to say that. If I had to go on individuals I could go on other individuals where the attitude is not what I like, so I have to be honest in my analysis of Serge. It's a mistake but that's it."

In his subsequent press conference, Mourinho admitted he did not like elements of what he saw from his side, revealing there were a number of areas that caused him concern in the game's opening exchanges.

"The penalty is not a penalty created, it's a penalty we commit. It's not something that comes in the sequence of something great. And for me it comes completely unrelated of the context at the time. At the time was our best period in the first half," he said.

"We start bad. The first, let's say, 20 minutes was a poor performance, some empty spots in terms of pressing, attitude, recovering the ball, I didn't like at all.

Serge Aurier clumsily felled Wesley Fofana in the penalty area
Serge Aurier clumsily felled Wesley Fofana in the penalty area / JULIAN FINNEY/Getty Images

"But then during the first half we changed, we adapt the positions especially in midfield, the team improved a lot, we had a period of domination, we had a couple of good chances and then the penalty, which for me is out of context of the game at that moment.

"I agree we didn't create 15 chances in the second half but they're a good team, they know how to defend, they know how to drop the lines back and they created us difficulties with their defensive organisation."

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