We’re still going to have to play well because it’s still Tottenham
Burnley face Spurs today at home and that brings their manager Jose Mourinho back to Turf Moor for the first time since early last season when he was in charge of Manchester United.
He arrives with his team not in the best of form but that can be a dangerous time to take on a Mourinho team and he said ahead of today’s game: “Yes, it’s tough. I keep saying the same thing, what is happening to our club this season isn’t normal. It can happen, but it’s not normal, when you see, again, repeating myself, but the series of injuries the team is having since the beginning of the season, the dimensions of the injuries, the time to recover, the importance of the players, it’s not normal. No team is free of it, but it’s not normal to be so unlucky.
“I look positively and say with all these problems, we all stick together with zero problems between ourselves, with a strong club, with a strong group of people working together, with a strong dressing room. I can imagine that this group, without the problems, in a positive period in a new season, or even in the last period of this season, when I hope we can bring back some players, I can imagine how strong we can be.”
“If I came to the club in July, I wouldn’t know what Tanganga can do, I wouldn’t know what Skipp can do, I wouldn’t know what Dier is as a midfielder or a centre back. At the beginning of the season I would probably go through a period that has been now with Giovani Lo Celso, because when I arrived, he was not playing. I arrived and I didn’t believe in him immediately. I arrived and I didn’t understand him immediately. Three or four months later, Giovani is phenomenal, so I could imagine if I came in July, probably between July and November, December, I would again be in a grey area with Giovani.
“No, next season, I know exactly what Giovani is, and I could give examples and examples. So difficult, yes, but I look to it in a positive way. Again, you see the matches we lost recently, everything small margins. We’ll turn. I believe in the boys.”
Asked about the Clarets, he said: “Burnley and Sean, Sean and Burnley, you almost confuse them because they have been together for so long. They have their profile, they have better moments, worse moments, good runs, bad runs, they always stick together, they always trust each other and they always finish the season the way they always do, without any problems, being stable in the Premier League.
“In the first match we got them in a period where they were not in a good run of results, plus Kane, Son, Sissoko, they all scored against them. Burnley are in an incredible run of results, six unbeaten, so we get them in a high moment, they didn’t play in midweek, so they are in top condition. We go there to fight and to try to win.”
He wouldn’t accept that we are less appreciated than some of the other teams in the Premier League either. “Not for me, I think we are in a world, not just football, but society in general, in a world of perception, of PR, of social media, maybe they are in a lower profile in relation to that, but they are just happy to do the work they do amazingly well season after season.
“I don’t think Sean sells himself as well as other managers do, so probably, yes, they are unappreciated, but not by myself, I respect them a lot. I go to Burnley year after year and know how hard they have to work to be in the position they are in.”
Sean Dyche saw the Clarets make it six unbeaten last week at Newcastle. This time we needed the clean sheet with us drawing a blank at the other end and that’s important to the manager. ““I want more clean sheets because that’s a sign you’re certainly doing the defensive side well,” he said.
“That triangle of two centre halves and a goalkeeper. I think they’re all playing well. They’ve a good connection, but I think the defensive unit has a good connection no matter who plays. Of course, if you get a clean sheet you get points, at least one and it’s nice to know that when we don’t do as well with the attacking side of the game we’ve still got that base to build from.”
Dyche knows all about difficult runs. Prior to this unbeaten spell we’d suffered four successive Premier League defeats. It’s not all in the league, but Spurs are on a run of four in all competitions, the last of which was the penalty shoot out defeat against Norwich in the FA Cup.
“I think they’ve had a tough run with a lot of things and injuries have affected it, “Dyche added. “They’ve been unusual results for a team of their ilk, after they’ve been very strong for the last few years. It’s fair to say they are missing two very good players, but the reality of even the top managers, when they lose players through injury and get challenges outside of having a fully fit squad. is that it’s tough.
“It’s refreshing to remind ourselves that management is not an easy task, whether you’re the superpower managers of the world or whether you’re learning and trying to improve, like myself. It’s still a big challenge, even for the people who seemingly have every answer, and it’s hard to have every answer in football.
“That being said, I think we have to remind ourselves there’s no easy games and we’re still going to have to play well because it’s still Tottenham.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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