Jose Mourinho on Manchester City, England and Gareth Southgate, Team News and More

Nov 20, 2020, 4:00 PM GMT
Jose Mourinho
Tottenham have won five of their eight league games this season | Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images
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Tottenham return from the international break with a massive Premier League fixture against Manchester City on Saturday.

The north London side have emerged relatively unscathed from the international fixtures, though right back Matt Doherty tested positive for COVID-19 after the Republic of Ireland's 3-0 defeat to England.

Spurs go into the weekend second with the chance to leapfrog Leicester at the top of the Premier League before the Foxes' clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

Here's what Mourinho said ahead of the weekend's fixture.

Injury News

"Winks arrived with a little problem but today [Friday] we don't know, Davinson Sanchez I didn't see, Gedson [Fernandes] I didn't see, [Erik] Lamela is still on the last period of his recovery. Apart from that, no problems."

On Son Heung-min, he added: "He tested twice negative, he's isolated and followed the protocols, and is fine to play."

England and Gareth Southgate

Mourinho chatted about Southgate and England on Friday
Mourinho chatted about Southgate and England on Friday | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Mourinho has needled Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate in the past over the use of Tottenham players and also touched on Raheem Sterling, who withdrew from the squad with an injury.

"Gareth Southgate, I read, I don't think I'm wrong in what I read, he supposedly told that some football club managers, they put pressure not to play for the national team and because of that he feels sometimes the need to call club managers to try to cool down the emotions and try to control the difficult situation for him.

"I would like him to say who. I would like him to say which are the coaches that put pressure on the players not to go, and I would like him to say which are the coaches that he calls and speaks on the phone with them.

"Apart from that, he has the right, he has the power to call the players he wants. He wants to win matches, especially after a defeat, the next match even being a dead rubber is an important match. I sympathise with that.

"And of course we all know Sterling will play tomorrow [Saturday]. When Eric Dier left the national team injured in the previous month, he didn't play two matches for Tottenham. He didn't play a Premier League match and a Europa League match. He needed a couple of weeks to recover and Raheem is going to play tomorrow."

Mourinho was pressed on his England views further but declined to answer.

Whether Manchester City Match Is a Good Indicator for Title Ambitions

Steven Bergwijn
Steven Bergwijn scored on his Premier League debut against City in February | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

"The result of the game will not change anything, only three points more or three points less. And being first, second, third or fourth fifth or sixth in the table.

"But in terms of journey, our ambition, our project, our process, it's not going to change."

On when Tottenham may reach his desired level, Mourinho added: "I think clubs never reach what they want. Us coaches, we are always in the search of the impossible, we are always in the search for perfection and in my case, we are far from perfection. For example, our opponents tomorrow they are winning the Premier League or almost winning the Premier League or fighting for the Premier League for more than 10 years and probably they didn't reach the perfection and want more.

"In our case, we are just at the beginning of a journey, one year – and a special year – not even a year where you follow the same normality of the number of training sessions, calendar and fixtures. Everything is so strange that I even find it difficult to believe it is one year."

Pep Guardiola's New Deal at Manchester City

Pep Guardiola
Guardiola signed a new deal this week | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

City boss Guardiola penned an extension to his contract this week and one question focused on whether his side may pursue a transfer for Barcelona star Lionel Messi in the next 12 months.

Mourinho said: "I've no idea. The only for sure is that nobody put a gun on Pep's head to sign the contract, so if he does that it is because he is happy to do it. He is happy to be there and for sure has conversations with the club's powerful people and he knows what he will have ahead of him for the future.

"He has motivation, he loves it there so if he does that it is because he is happy to do it, so I am happy for him."

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