'We let them win' - Mourinho says lineup decisions will be 'very easy' after Antwerp failure

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Jose Mourinho Tottenham 2020-21
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The Tottenham boss said his reserve players failed to make the case for more playing time in Belgium on Thursday

Jose Mourinho says that Tottenham's players made his future team selections "very easy" after struggling in a loss to Antwerp.

Spurs were undone by the Belgian side on Wednesday, with the Premier League side's second Europa League group-stage match ending in a surprise 1-0 defeat.

Mourinho deployed a reserve-heavy lineup, with the free-scoring duo of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son out of the starting XI for the day.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Toby Alderweireld, Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Moura and Matt Doherty were also left out after featuring against Burnley last weekend.

Mourinho turned to summer signings Carlos Vinicius and Gareth Bale alongside winger Steven Bergwijn in attack, while Dele Alli was also brought in to the midfield alongside Harry Winks and Giovani Lo Celso.

After the rotation Spurs struggled, failing to win Thursday's clash in Belgium despite entering as favourites.

And Mourinho said that there will be consequences for those that didn't play up to his expectations, declaring that Spurs players "let them win" with their performances.

"You know what our best team is. I always like to think the players deserve an opportunity. We have a big squad," he said, speaking at his post-match press conference.

"It's also their opportunity to catch the chance with both hands and ask for more. Tonight my future choices are going to be very easy.

"They got in a situation where we let them win. I don't want to take credit from them."

Mourinho also took to social media to express his frustration, posting from the team bus after the game: "Bad performances deserve bad results. Hope everyone in this bus is as upset as I am. Tomorrow 11 AM training."

Thursday saw Alli return to the team, having previously been excluded from all but two Premier League games so far.

Alli, however, has been involved in the Europa League, with Thursday being his fourth appearance of the season

Like several Spurs players, Alli struggled and was one of four players substituted at half-time.

"I don't want to analyse individually," Mourinho said. "It's fair to say that players with bad performances influence the team but also a team influence individual performances. 

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"It's not for me to individualise and bring some names to the table."

Following Thursday's defeat, Spurs will now look to bounce back on Sunday as Mourinho's side hosts Brighton before then traveling to face Ludogorets in the Europa League next week.

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