Jose Mourinho has vowed he “will be in Tottenham‘s history for the good reasons” after claiming he is “more motivated than ever” to halt the club’s slide amid growing speculation over his future.
ESPN reported on Friday that chairman Daniel Levy wants to wait until the end of the season before deciding whether the 58-year-old should continue as head coach, but Mourinho must first address a run of five defeats from six Premier League games that leaves their top four hopes hanging by a thread.
Spurs are strong favourites to progress in the Europa League as they lead Wolfsberger 4-1 heading into tomorrow’s last-32, second-leg tie in north London and have an EFL Cup Final to come against Manchester City in April.
However, Spurs’ dreadful League form has ramped up the pressure on Mourinho, who insists he is better equipped to handle the situation than he was when arriving in England for the first time to take charge of Chelsea in 2004.
“Thank God I am not the manager I was,” he said. “Thank God, because if there is no evolution in us… I also want to believe you think you are a better journalist than you were 10 years ago or so.
“So, thank God. But I agree with you, probably I would not be as calm and confident and in control of my emotions because during my career I had sometimes problems not in relation to results.
“As you know, I didn’t have many bad runs of results. But day-by-day problems that happen many times in clubs with all of us, I reacted previously in a much more emotional way. And instead of helping myself and the ones around me, I was even created kind of conflict situations that I had previously. To give you a quick example: I left Chelsea as a champion. I was champion and I left Chelsea.
“Maybe your age, your experience as a person and a journalist makes you realise that people with more experience, we are better equipped to cope with negative moments. I am calm. I am in control of my emotions. I cannot switch on and switch off I’m happy.
“My nature does not change. I lose a game, of course I am not happy but maturity helps. And I feel very confident. I believe we are going to improve and I believe that I will be in Tottenham’s history for the good reasons and not for the bad reasons.”
Sources have told ESPN that some players have become frustrated with the team’s conservative style, while reports elsewhere have hinted at a strained relationship with several individuals including Dele Alli and Gareth Bale.
But Mourinho insisted he retains the full backing of those around him.
“In the negativity of it, it is a positive thing that you say I am not used to it and my career has been the opposite of this,” he said. “That’s a great thing.
“But I want to know which coach in the end of his career can say everything was blue sky, never a little bit grey or cloudy or even dark. Unless he is a coach that was always in dominant clubs where the clubs were always the top clubs in countries and then it is more difficult to have difficult moments. But I think it just shows how beautiful my career has been.
“Does this make me happy? No. Does this make me depressed? Not at all. I think it is a challenge. I always feel that work for the clubs, for the players, for the supporters. I always feel I have to give them so much and the fact that I’m giving them hard work but not the results is something that of course hurts me and is a great challenge for me.
“I believe that I can give it. I gave it everywhere I’ve been and I want to do it. I’m more motivated than ever and I believe that, and this is what I feel, I never felt what normally coaches they feel when the results are bad.
“Normally when the results are bad, the coach is a lonely man. In this club, in this building, I never felt that. Never. I always felt, not just respected of course, but I always felt supported. I always felt that everybody is together in the same boat.
“By one side nobody is happy, but by another side nobody is depressed. I feel positive. Maybe it can look a bit weird for you losing so many matches and you are positive but yes I am positive.
“I cannot say I’m happy but I would say I’m not unhappy. I wake up in the morning, I want to come back to work. I arrive in the building, I feel the motivation in everyone. I love to train. People are loving training and everybody is working as hard as is possible with so many matches. And we are positive.
“We want to play tomorrow, we want to play Sunday [against Burnley], we want to try to come back as soon as possible to good results and we are positive.”