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Tottenham Hotspur

'I'm the same guy, the same principles' - Mourinho says he has lost no passion after 20 years in management

11:00 BST 13/09/2020
Jose Mourinho
The Portuguese coach says he sets his Tottenham Hotspur side out with the mentality that they want to win every game they play

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho insists that he has not lost his passion for management after 20 years at the top level.

The Portuguese first managed with Benfica in 2000 then moved to Uniao de Leiria and Porto, where he won the Champions League, before switching to England.

Successful spells at Chelsea and Inter followed, but his star began to wane at Real Madrid, where he won only one league title in three years at the club.

After leaving the Bernabeu, he endured a mixed spell at Manchester United, where he won the EFL Cup and Europa League but struggled to re-establish the Old Trafford giants in the Premier League top four.

In 2019, he replaced Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham where he remains in charge, and as he closes in on 1,000 matches in the dugout he says he retains all his appetite for the job.

“Of course, the colour of my hair is different, and some wrinkles! But I'm the same guy, the same principles, the same passion, nothing at all has changed,” he told Sky Sports ahead of Spurs’ Premier League opener against Everton.

“I am the same in my DNA, my principles, I'm the same man - but obviously a big evolution in terms of coaching, in terms of managing players and football teams, and the evolution of everything related to the game.

“I love everything related to my job. The only thing I don't enjoy is to lose - I hate to lose - but I know very well that it is part of our job. Everything related to my job is something I love, that's why I don't see myself doing another thing in my life.

“In football I just love everything. If you ask me about everything related to the job, there is nothing I don't enjoy. Even the problems, the difficulties, are things I enjoy about the job. So the challenge is to be happy, happy, happy, happy!”

Meanwhile, his target for Tottenham is simple.

“Our ambition is to win every match,” he said. “Our target is to go to every match, thinking and feeling that we go to that match to win. It doesn't' matter the competition, the opponent, I want Tottenham to have this level of confidence to go to every match to win.

“We are going to lose some, we are going to draw some too, but I want to have this feeling that it doesn't matter who the opponent is, I want Tottenham to go to try to win, not just trying to win, but feeling like they can too.

“It is good to be nice lads, but it is good also to have that competitive mentality, that aggression and ambition that you need. I was never afraid to establish with my boys some difficult targets, and not be afraid of going for it.”

Tottenham finished sixth in the Premier League table in 2019-20 and approach the new campaign as one of the sides tipped to challenge for the Champions League spots.