Tottenham Hotspur‘s manager Jose Mourinho has stressed that his club has to find a way to adapt to playing without fans in the stadium when they face Manchester United on Friday, June 19. He noted that Tottenham and United have an equal chance of fighting for points on the pitch.
Mourinho and his boys are condemned to win against Manchester United when they host them on Friday. The win against the Red Devils will brighten their chances of making it into the top four this season. But they will have to battle the reality of playing in empty stadiums and in the echoes of their shouting on the pitch.
“We have to adapt to this new reality, which is what we tried to do, to have a feeling of playing with an empty stadium”, Mourinho told Tottenham official website on Saturday.
“The points are there to fight for, and with or without fans, the points are there on the pitch and ourselves and United will have to fight for them.”
Tottenham is currently in the 8th position with 41 points, 7 points away from their London rival, Chelsea football club, which currently sits on the 4th spot with just 48 points and closely followed by Manchester United with 45 points.
If Jose Mourinho gets his tactics right and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not able to match up with him like how he did when Mourinho visited Old Trafford in December, Tottenham will be just one point behind United after June 17. But their standing on the league table will be determined by the outcome of the matches of other clubs.
Current Reality of Jose Mourinho
Mourinho was defeated 2-1 in a friendly match on Friday by a relegation-threatened Norwich City and the Portuguese manager called it a good training session. The friendly saw every player of Tottenham’s first team get at least 30 minutes of football as the friendly was divided into four halves.
Mourinho used the opportunity to try out his four stars – Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, Heung-Min Son and Steven Bergwijn, who were out with different degrees of injuries before the coronavirus pandemic halted football on March 13. Now he has his full squad intact and ready to go except Dele Alli who will miss the match because he has a one-match ban to observe.
“It was a good training session, ” he said. “We needed minutes, we needed to know the feeling of playing here without our supporters and to have this training session with another Premier League team is the best thing.
“We didn’t want any players to be into the limits of fatigue and of course nobody played the four periods.
“What we work on tactically we do in the training ground but the match was much more about competing, getting minutes, intensity and it’s very important to do it and to have this last week without any injuries.
“We all know that in these first matches, and in the friendlies, there’s also the risk of getting some injuries.”
The Odds before Mourinho
Jose Mourinho is arguably in the toughest period of his football career. He has only 9 games to prove that he is really the ‘Special One’ and most of those games are against teams who have one or two things to play for.
For instance, Manchester United are ready to do anything to break into the top four. Spurs still have a date with Leicester City that will also do anything to remain 3rd on the league table.
7th placed Sheffield United will protect their good run with all they have when they meet with Tottenham. And then, a date with their old Rival, Arsenal, still awaits Mourinho.
The remaining matches for Tottenham are against relegation-threatened teams – Bournemouth and West Ham United. They will also fight to salvage a point or more from any encounter.