By Ken Ferris
LONDON (Reuters) – New Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho wants to take the club led by England striker Harry Kane to the next level by winning trophies and said he would love to stay in the job for at least as long as his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino.
The much-travelled 56-year-old Portuguese was appointed as Spurs head coach on Wednesday the day after Pochettino, who spent 5-1/2 years in charge of the north London club, was sacked with his team struggling in 14th place in the Premier League.
However, the Argentine fan-favourite failed to deliver any silverware despite having a squad full of internationals and that is something Mourinho is determined to change as he prepares for the trip to West Ham United on Saturday.
Asked if he had to keep hold of Kane to bring success to Tottenham he told a group of reporters at the club’s training ground: “When you try to buy Kane it’s an impossible mission. He’s one of the best strikers in the world.
“You just need his team — England or Tottenham — to go with him to the next level. What’s the next level? Titles.
“I think he needs to win with us, with England, he needs to win something to highlight the quality that he has as a player, the goals he scores, what he brings to the team.”
Kane, 26, has bagged 131 goals in 189 Premier League games for Spurs and has netted 32 in 45 matches for England.
“With the squad we have, with the quality of the structure of the club, we can have the same ambitions as clubs potentially bigger than us,” added Mourinho. “I don’t want my players to fear anything. We go for everything against everyone.”
The Portuguese coach usually never stays too long in one job and only in his first spell at Chelsea did he reach a fourth season, though he was sacked in September 2007 after six games.
However, he said he wanted to remain at Spurs for longer than that and would like to be there until he’s at least 61.
“I would love to stay for many years. I say ‘many years’ but I know realistically how football is, but I would like to… do a Mauricio (Pochettino), 5-1/2 years, it would be amazing. Maybe (this is) the last job (in England).”
The appointment of Mourinho by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy surprised many people in the game since the club are not known for spending big money on buying players, unlike many of the top European clubs Mourinho has managed during his career.
However, the new Tottenham boss said he did not need a large transfer kitty since he already had a good squad.
“I don’t need transfers. That’s the basic thing. During the process we are going to need ticks (tweaks). You lose a player, you get a player, but this is readjustments to your squad. But the more you like a squad the less money you need.
“I like the players, I don’t need to spend huge amounts.”
Mourinho also said he was delighted to have Levy, who has a reputation as a tough negotiator, behind him at Tottenham.
“He has a vision and part of that vision is to make the club better, bigger. There is no better and bigger football club without a better and bigger football team, so keeping the best players is obviously part of that plan.
“I used to be in clubs that feared him (Levy). It’s true, He’s powerful. He’s a businessman but he’s a football man. He has big experience, apart from his intelligence overall.
“As a football man he understands football, he understands the industry, he understands the evolution. He’s very clever, he’s very intelligent. It’s great to have him on my side.”
One player whose form dipped under Pochettino is 23-year-old Dele Alli, who has struggled to secure a starting spot at Spurs and has lost his place in the England squad, albeit after a series of injuries that have hampered his progress.
Mourinho knows he must work hard with the midfielder to return him to his best ahead of England’s Euro 2020 campaign.
“He’s potentially a fantastic player,” said Mourinho. “Now I have to try to create a tactical situation that he’s happy with, give him the right dynamic, prepare him physically because he had important injuries too and is not at the top of his form.
“I cannot expect him now to play Saturday, if he plays, and to go there and be the man of the match but to go through a process that can bring the real Dele back because the real Dele is the one that in the last years impressed all of us.”
(Reporting by Ken Ferris; Editing by Toby Davis)