LONDON (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said it would not be the end of the world if his side failed to finish in the top six of the Premier League, something that has not happened since 2009.
A 3-1 defeat by Sheffield United on Thursday left Tottenham ninth in the table and struggling to qualify for Europe.
They are 10 points behind fifth-placed Manchester United, and only a win against Everton on Monday will revive their flagging hopes.
“If that doesn’t happen it’s not the end of the world, it’s probably the beginning of a new world,” Mourinho told reporters at his virtual news conference on Saturday.
“Things change, change for you, change for other club. Squads change, motivations change, group dynamics change, a group that was strong 10 years ago is possibly not strong anymore, a player at the maximum of motivation is not any more.
“If that happens, we have to look at it not smiling but with optimism and with a professional profile of next season has to be different. If you analyse Tottenham last year, for example, how many matches do they win away from home?”
Mourinho said his team were hurting after defeat to Sheffield United, and said he was disturbed by it.
“I believed in the evolution of the team and I thought that by a desire point of view, they put more than us,” he said.
“That’s something that disturbs me. It’s something that I feel, I don’t know, that’s my way of being — it’s something that destroys me a little bit on the inside because I think the last thing in football is when you have the feeling you could, you should do more.”
Mourinho said Dele Alli had hurt his hamstring in training and would be assessed ahead of the Everton game.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)