Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that the “secret” to his EFL Cup success is to take him more seriously than his rivals even though there is a stigma attached to the competition, having guided Spurs to a first national final in six years.
Tottenham, from Mourinho, saw championship club Brentford in form on Tuesday night thanks to an early goal from Moussa Sissoko and a second-half settler from Son Heung-min.
Spurs were fortunate in the third round when they were excluded from the fourth round following a coronavirus outbreak forcing Leyton Orient out of the game. They then took out Chelsea on penalties and emerged victorious against Stoke in the quarter-finals.
Mourinho is a four-time EFL Cup winner, having won it three times in two periods at Chelsea (2005, 2007, 2015), including beating Spurs in the final six years ago, and once with Manchester United ( 2019).
“I came to England in 2004 and remember that at that time I had to learn the meaning of the cups here and I always took it seriously,” said the Portuguese as quoted by BBC Sport.
“If there’s a secret, it’s to take it seriously. To respect what English football is, what English clubs are, what English lower divisions are.
“If you see the winners, you realize the big clubs want to win,” he added.
“Who was the last winner outside the normal top six? Swansea ? I remember Manchester City winning a lot of times, Chelsea winning a lot of times, I remember United having won several times. I remember Liverpool in the final, Arsenal. Big clubs care. “
The EFL Cup was the last major trophy won by Tottenham, coming in 2008 when they beat Chelsea – who had parted ways with Mourinho a few months earlier – in extra time at Wembley.
League cup competitions are rare outside of England, but Portugal is one of the few European nations to have one. He was only created in 2007, several years after Mourinho’s last coach in his home country, but his home club Vitoria Setubal actually won the first edition.
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