José Mourinho described the half-time confrontation between Hugo Lloris and Son-Heung min during Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Everton as “beautiful” and said that he does not want to manage a team capable of winning nothing more than the Fair Play Cup.
Mourinho wanted a response after last Thursday’s insipid defeat to Sheffield United and the Spurs manager was happy to see Lloris erupt at Son in public after the winger’s failure to track back almost led to Richarlison cancelling out Michael Keane’s own-goal just before the interval. In Mourinho’s eyes his goalkeeper’s anger was proof that his players are ready to grow up.
“Beautiful,” Mourinho said. “That’s the consequence of our meetings. If you want to blame someone for that it’s me. I was critical of my boys because they are not critical with each other. I asked them to demand from each other. I asked them to put their colleagues under that pressure that you have to give everything for everybody. I think it is something very important for the team to grow up.”
Mourinho, whose side moved up to eighth with five games left, was asked about the atmosphere in the dressing room. “When I was arriving I just saw the back of it,” he said. “They were hugging each other. Hugo thought the attacking players should do more. He was arguing with Sonny and Sonny with him. I wanted to make sure the players knew I was very happy with that.”
Mourinho, who recorded his 200th win in the Premier League, elaborated on how his side can mature. “What happened is a good image of that,” he said. “A team of good boys, the only thing that they can win in the end of the season is the Fair Play Cup, which is something I never won and I am not interested in winning. You need to grow up in terms of your mentality because it is very important to be consistent.
“I don’t like a team without communication. Probably what happened today at half-time shouldn’t happen there, it should happen just inside the dressing room, but I can promise you that my winning teams, we had big fights in the team.”
Carlo Ancelotti said he is not giving up on Europa League football next season, with his side now four points behind Spurs in 11th place. “It is more difficult but we are still there,” the Everton manager said. “In five games we have three home games and two away, we have to fight until the end. We have less possibility after this defeat but nothing is lost. We have to keep the fighting spirit until the end.
“Where we lost the game was on the fight in the middle of the pitch. We lost a lot of second balls and we were not in total control of the game. We competed until the end, we didn’t concede a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t have a lot of chances.”