Clash of team-mates was ‘beau­ti­ful’ says Mour­inho

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Sam Dean

Jose Mour­inho de­scribed the clash be­tween Son He­ung-min and Hugo Lloris as “beau­ti­ful”, say­ing that he told his play­ers he was de­lighted with the ex­tra­or­di­nary in­ci­dent.

Lloris, the Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur cap­tain, con­fronted Son on the pitch at half-time of their drab vic­tory over Ever­ton be­cause he be­lieved the for­ward had not put in the re­quired de­fen­sive work in the fi­nal mo­ments of the first half.

The pair had to be sep­a­rated by their team-mates be­fore mak­ing their way down the tun­nel, although Mour­inho said they were “hug­ging each other” by the time he had reached the dress­ing room.

Mour­inho was highly crit­i­cal of his play­ers fol­low­ing their de­feat by Sh­effield United last week and he said he had asked them to be more de­mand­ing of each other.

“It is beau­ti­ful,” Mour­inho said of the clash. “Prob­a­bly it was a con­se­quence of our meet­ings. If you want to blame some­body for that, it’s me.

“Be­cause I was crit­i­cal of my boys, be­cause they are not – in my opin­ion – crit­i­cal enough with them­selves, with each other. I asked them to be more de­mand­ing. I asked them to de­mand more from oth­ers.

“It is some­thing very im­por­tant for the team to grow up. For the team to grow up you need to de­mand from each other and be strong per­son­al­i­ties. I was re­ally pleased.”

Asked what had caused the play­ers to come to­gether so an­grily, Mour­inho said: “Hugo thought that, in that minute of the game, the at­tack­ing play­ers should do a lit­tle bit more.

“When I ar­rived at half-time, I wanted to make sure play­ers un­der­stood I was very happy with that. When I told them that, they re­alised there was noth­ing wrong.

“A team of nice boys, the only thing they can win is the fair play cup, which is some­thing I have never won and I am not in­ter­ested in win­ning. You need to have cer­tain char­ac­ter, you need to grow up in terms of your men­tal­ity and con­sis­tency.

“I do not like a team with­out com­mu­ni­ca­tion, with­out de­mand­ing from each other, with­out crit­i­cal sense. What hap­pened prob­a­bly should not hap­pen there [on the pitch]. It should hap­pen just in­side the dress­ing room. My teams, my win­ning teams, we had big fights within the team.”

An own goal by Ever­ton de­fender Michael Keane brought Mour­inho his 200th Premier League vic­tory and moved Tot­ten­ham into eighth, one place and one point be­hind ri­vals Ar­se­nal ahead of the north Lon­don derby on Sun­day.

“When you coach three of the best clubs in England, you have more chances to get to that [mile­stone],” said the for­mer Chelsea and Manch­ester United man­ager.

Lloris, for his part, in­sisted there was “no prob­lem” be­tween him and Son. “It just be­longs to the chang­ing room – out­side you can say what­ever you want,” he said. “What hap­pened be­tween me and Sonny is part of foot­ball some­times. There’s no prob­lem. At the end of the game you could see we were more than happy.”

The de­feat marked a set­back for Ever­ton in their pur­suit of Euro­pean foot­ball. “We need to keep fight­ing,” said their man­ager, Carlo Ancelotti.

“The dream is still there to go to Europe. We are still there. We have to fight un­til the end. Noth­ing is lost. We have to con­tinue, keep our fight­ing spirit.”

Sym­pa­thetic view: Jose Mour­inho puts an arm on Son He­ung-min af­ter a tense night

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