Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho believes Carlos Vinicius’ introduction helped his side beat West Brom on Sunday. Harry Kane scored the only goal of the game at the Hawthorns to boost the north London giants’ hopes of Premier League title glory. And the England international’s manager was delighted after the game.
Tottenham had to dig deep to beat a plucky West Brom on Sunday.
But they got a winner late on through Kane, with the England international’s header enough to give his side all three points.
It’s a goal that has propelled Tottenham to the top of the table for the time being and it was his 13th of the season, coming from just 14 matches across all competitions.
Vinicius was thrown on in the 79th minute and Mourinho, speaking to Tottenham’s official website, has now singled him out for praise.
“It was one of those matches with all the ingredients to lose a couple of points – difficult opponents, they want to stop you, they analyse you, they see where you are strong, they try to close every possible door, and they did it,” he said.
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“Apart from that, they also had strategy in relation to the time, in relation to the intensity – they tried everything, fought really hard, and the good thing was that we always tried.
“Even being difficult, it was not a game where it had lots of chances, but a game where you start pushing, pushing, pushing and you feel the possible is coming.
“Then the moment arrived where I felt it’s time to bring Vinicius, to change the structure a little, to give them a different problem than they had until then.
“With Vinicius, Harry became a little more free and he got that space to score the winning goal.”
While Tottenham sit top of the Premier League table, Mourinho has downplayed talk of title glory for the time being.
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“When a team is champion, or plays for the title, there is always a direct relation to your direct opponents. I could say that this team could be champions in many European countries,” he said.
“It’s so difficult in the Premier League though. So many good clubs. You can have a good season and still not be champions.
“We’ll just try to win. I promise you I’m not bothered about Leicester vs Wolves or City vs Liverpool. I just want us to win games and then we’ll see where we are.”
Tottenham are far from their eye-catching best against West Brom.
The Baggies limited them to just five shots on target from 19 attempts, while they carved 12 opportunities of their own.
But Mourinho wasn’t fazed by their lacklustre performance and insists it was a result of West Brom’s dogged determination.
“West Brom’s performance made us play in the way we did,” he said. “They were very good defensively.
“We played safe. Defensively we controlled the game well but we couldn’t create a lot of chances.
“In the second half they dropped back and in the final stages I wanted to change it and put on another striker.”
Tottenham are next in action against Manchester City on November 21 after the international break (5.30pm).
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