(Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has called for a collective effort to plug their leaky defence which has conceded “cheap goals” in his first four matches in charge of the club.
Since Mourinho took over from Mauricio Pochettino last month, Spurs have conceded eight goals in all competitions, with the north London club failing to keep a single clean sheet.
“We have to sort out our defence. We have conceded two goals in every match, we are conceding cheap goals,” Mourinho told a news conference on the eve of Saturday’s home match in the league against Burnley.
“We have to work on it but it is hard, as we had a recovery day yesterday and we play tomorrow. To analyse, to comment and to coach in a meeting room helps, so hopefully we’ll get some positive things after the negative things.
“It’s not the defence, it’s the defensive process. I’m not looking at individual players. There are 11 players on the pitch.”
Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford on Wednesday ended in a 2-1 defeat by Manchester United that left Spurs eighth in the standings — nine points away from Champions League places.
It was Mourinho’s first defeat after winning his first three matches in charge and the Portuguese boss said the defeat should fuel the squad’s anger instead of casting a pall of gloom ahead of a busy schedule this month.
“I saw a sad dressing room, a sad bus and a sad plane, and that’s not what I like after a defeat,” he added. “I think after a defeat you can’t be sad. You have to be more than that.
“You have to be raging and angry. Being sad is not going to resolve your problems. It’s obvious we have problems, but we need to have time to work. But we have players with quality and a great dressing room.”
Mourinho also refused to divulge his discussions with influential midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is free to leave the club when his contract ends this season.
“My feelings are until I have anything official rather than hypothetical, I will not comment,” Mourinho said.
“The only thing I can say is the player is a free agent at the end of the season… I’ve had a conversation with him, but I’m not sharing anything, from respect with the player.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)