Belfast Telegraph

Mourinho meets Spurs squad as new manager gears up for first game

The Portuguese has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Jose Mourinho is beginning work as Tottenham manager (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jose Mourinho is beginning work as Tottenham manager (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Jonathan Veal, PA

Jose Mourinho was at Tottenham’s training ground to meet his new squad on Wednesday afternoon following his appointment as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss signed a three-and-a-half-year contract less than 12 hours after Pochettino was sacked.

The 56-year-old, who had been out of work since leaving United last December, was at Hotspur Way meeting the club’s players and staff.

He was due to take training in the afternoon ahead of his unveiling press conference at 2pm on Thursday and first game in charge at West Ham on Saturday lunchtime.

Mourinho revealed he was relishing the chance to work with the players, who have under-achieved so far this season.

The Portuguese said: “I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

Mourinho moved quickly to appoint his backroom staff, with Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos joining from Lille as assistant manager and goalkeeping coach, respectively.

Tottenham also confirmed the arrival of Carlos Lalin as fitness coach, Ricardo Formosinho as tactical analyst and Giovanni Cerra as technical analyst.

All three worked under Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Despite his troubles in the latter stages of his tenure at Old Trafford, Mourinho remains one of the most sought-after managers in the game.

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Midfielder Eric Dier arrives at Hotspur Way for Jose Mourinho’s first training session as Tottenham manager (Steven Paston/PA).

His success at delivering trophies is not in question, having won three Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and a host of domestic cups, and that was a clear attraction for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

Levy previously tried appointing Mourinho in 2007 when he left Chelsea for the first time and has admired him since.

Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football.

In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy

“He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician. He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”

A statement from the club described Mourinho as “one of the world’s most accomplished managers” who “is renowned for his tactical prowess”.

It added: “He has won a domestic title in a record four different countries (Portugal, England, Italy and Spain) and is one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League twice with two clubs, FC Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.”

Pochettino was dismissed after five-and-a-half years in charge, less than six months after he took Spurs to the Champions League final, with the club lying 14th in the Premier League table after the opening 12 matches.

  • West Ham (a) - Nov 23
  • Man Utd (a) - Dec 4
  • B Munich (a) - Dec 11
  • Chelsea (h) - Dec 22
  • Liverpool (h) - Jan 11

Mourinho, who has most recently been working as a pundit for Sky Sports, had turned down a number of opportunities to coach abroad since leaving United, including with clubs in China, Spain and Portugal.

His first match in charge will be the London derby away to West Ham on Saturday and they are due to play United at Old Trafford on December 4.

Spurs also play Champions League games at home to Olympiakos and away at Bayern Munich before hosting their new manager’s former club Chelsea on December 22.

Mourinho’s side host Liverpool on January 11 and Manchester City on February 1 before making the trip to Stamford Bridge on February 22.

PA

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