‘A good training session’ - Mourinho reveals more about Spurs’ friendly loss to Norwich

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho, pictured at Carrow Road earlier this season Picture: Paul C

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho, pictured at Carrow Road earlier this season Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has shed more light on Friday’s friendly at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, saying the game was “not against Norwich City, with Norwich City”.

The match was split up into four periods of 30 minutes and ended in a 2-1 defeat for last season’s Champions League runners-up, after Erik Lamela’s goal in the first quarter was overtaken by late goals, with Josip Drmic turning in a Josh Martin free-kick and Mario Vrancic curling a fine free-kick of his own into the top-right corner.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss was speaking straight after the game and ahead of Saturday night’s news that one of the Norwich players who had featured in the game is having to isolate for seven days after a positive test for coronavirus.

“Not against Norwich City, with Norwich City,” the Portuguese coach stressed. “A good training session, we needed minutes, we needed to know the feeling of playing here without our supporters and to have this session with another Premier League team is the best thing.

“Of course it was a different match. We were supposed to divide the team in two and play another match (against Reading on Saturday) but that was not possible, so I agreed with Daniel (Farke) to have this match of four periods.

“Of course, when you get into the third and fourth periods, you start making lots of changes because in the end, what we work on tactically, we do at the training ground, and today was much more about competing, minutes, intensity.


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“It was very important to do it and to go into this last week without any injuries, because we all know in these first matches, even friendlies, there is always the risk of getting some injuries.”

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Top international players including Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, Huneg-Min Son and Dele Alli were all in action for the hosts, while Tim Krul, Max Aarons, Timm Klose, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia were all among the players featuring for Norwich.

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The friendly was played late on Friday afternoon ahead of both team’s resuming their Premier League campaigns behind closed doors this Friday evening, City at home to Southampton and Spurs hosting Manchester United.

Mourinho, speaking to his club’s official website, continued: “We decided to mix them and give almost the same minutes to everyone, we didn’t want to bring the players into the limits of fatigue, of course nobody plays the four periods because that would be too much.

“In the last period we played some of the young boys, even (George) Marsh that was playing for Leyton Orient, joined us for this last period of preparation where we need numbers.

“So it was good. I thank Daniel and his players and everyone at Norwich for coming to us and to share with us this opportunity, because it was the last opportunity for us and them before our Friday matches.”

- You can see a video clip that Vrancic shared of his goal on Instagram in the tweet above

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