Tottenham Hotspur

Jose Mourinho unsure over the futures of Gareth Bale and Danny Rose

Toby Cudworth
Jan 15, 2021, 2:30 PM GMT
Mourinho takes his Tottenham side to Sheffield United this weekend
Mourinho takes his Tottenham side to Sheffield United this weekend | MATTHEW CHILDS/Getty Images
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Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho was in good spirits ahead of his side's trip to Sheffield United on Sunday, but kept his cards close to his chest when asked about the futures of Gareth Bale and Danny Rose.

The Lilywhites boss saw his side slip up in midweek against Fulham, labouring to a 1-1 draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium despite being given a first half lead by Harry Kane.

But Mourinho was forward thinking in his latest pre-match press conference, where he answered questions about the future of Bale and Rose, discussed whether or not Spurs need to do something different to hold onto leads, and how difficult a proposition bottom of the table Sheffield United will be after picking up their first win of the season last time out.

Here's what he had to say.

Rumours about Gareth Bale leaving at the end of the season

Coming off the bench as been a familiar thing for Bale
Coming off the bench as been a familiar thing for Bale | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Reports early on Friday had suggested that Tottenham had opted against extending the stay of Gareth Bale, who is on loan from Real Madrid. News of a potential departure surprised Mourinho, who was adamant that no discussions have taken place.

"There was not a second of discussion about that. Gareth is a player on loan until the end of the season. Not one second of discussion. We are speaking about of course about Gareth himself, Real Madrid, Tottenham. But I promise you, not one second of discussion.

"He arrived injured and he was injured for I believe the first month. Europa League group phase is a different level than than the Premier League. The knockout is a different story but the group phase is a different intensity, a different rhythm, a different quality.

"So in the Premier League, he didn't play many minutes. Then another small injury at Stoke where it was having a good first half. Not an easy process.

"Everybody knew that in the past couple of seasons in Madrid's they were not easy for him. So let's let's go step by step and try try to get the best out of him.

The future of Danny Rose

Danny Rose has been playing Under-23 football for Spurs recently
Danny Rose has been playing Under-23 football for Spurs recently | James Chance/Getty Images

"I don't know. Honestly, I don't know.

"[He is] Working with the Under-23s is playing sometimes with them - and well. The couple of times that I watch him [he made a] good contribution for the kids, for their development. But I don't know what is going to happen in the market."

What can be improved to hold on to a lead

Mourinho admitted that mistakes need to be eliminated
Mourinho admitted that mistakes need to be eliminated | Pool/Getty Images

Spurs have surrendered a number of leads this season, most recently against Fulham but also against Wolves and Crystal Palace during the last month. When probed about why Tottenham were unable to close games out, Mourinho addressed the need to improve basics as the way to start getting over the line.

"We need to score the goals that we can and we need not to make mistakes that punished us. If you compare Hugo's performance with Areola's performance, you have an answer. Areola made, I believe, a couple of impossible saves that would kill the the match. Also {we hit} the post, and then defensive mistake and a goal. That's it.

"It looks complicated, but it's simple because it's about a basic analysis of the game. I'm the first one that digs very, very deep, to try to to understand what my team has to improve and could improve. I'm the first one to do it.

"But going to the basics, you score goals, you kill matches. If you don't score goals, you stay in the limit. If you don't make defensive mistakes, you end by winning and if you make a defensive mistake, you can be punished."

On the challenge of playing Sheffield United

Wilder's Sheffield United took four points off Spurs last season
Wilder's Sheffield United took four points off Spurs last season | Pool/Getty Images

Tottenham slumped to defeat against Sheffield United six months ago, losing convincingly at Bramall Lane. But with Chris Wilder's side marooned to the bottom of the table, Mourinho was asked whether or not he viewed the Blades as a different proposition given their struggles during 2020/21.

"The same. I don't look to the table. Of course I look but but I go deeper than that. And they are not the worst team in the Premier League at all. They are a much, much, much better team than what the table says.

"You look at them matches, you analyse them matches, and many times the opponent was not better than them. And many times was one of these small, big details that decides the score, decides the points and decides the table.

"They are a very good team. So honestly, if in our mind is we are going to play against the worst team in in the Premier League, we are going to be in big trouble.

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