Tottenham boss Mourinho 'wasn't expecting' to find new job & 'perfect situation' mid-season

The Portuguese is delighted to have secured a return to management at an “amazing club” sooner than he originally envisaged

Jose Mourinho claims that he never expected to be offered an “incredible project” at Tottenham halfway through the season, or to find himself in such a “perfect situation” following an extended spell away from the game.

Under Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs managed to become top-four regulars, title challengers and Champions League finalists in the space of five seasons.

The Argentine forged a formidable unit capable of mixing it with the elite, but failed to deliver any tangible success in the form of major silverware.

The Lilywhites endured an uncharacteristically poor start to the 2019-20 campaign, which ultimately cost Pochettino his job on November 21.

Club chairman Daniel Levy turned to a proven winner in Mourinho to steady the ship, despite the fact he had been out of work since being dismissed by Manchester United in December 2018.

The Portuguese has rediscovered the spark which saw him carve out a reputation as one of the finest manager’s in the modern era since succeeding Pochettino, helping Spurs climb back up to fifth in the Premier League standings.

Tottenham have won six of their first nine matches under Mourinho, with a 2-1 home win over Brighton on Boxing Day marking their latest triumph.

The 56-year-old says he never imagined being in this position mid-way through a season, with Levy delivering on his promise of providing “amazing conditions to work” at a club fully focused on “future development”.

Mourinho told Sky Sports: “In terms of the football, pure football, and pure football results, when a team changes manager in mid-season, there is always a reason. There is always a reason.

“When the teams are perfect, when a team is playing amazingly well and the results are fantastic, you don’t change managers. I was not expecting to get a team in mid-season and to find a perfect situation. Nobody expects that.

“[It’s] an amazing club, amazing facilities, amazing conditions to work. [It’s an] incredible project that the club has for the future development of the club. It’s exactly what Mr Levy explained to me. Exactly what I was expecting.”

Mourinho added on being in a state of “happiness” in which he is prepared to “give everything” to Tottenham’s cause: “I am in the state of mind, of soul, of happiness, where I am ready to go all-in, which is 100 per cent commitment.

“It is only possible when you are happy with yourself, when you are happy with what surrounds you. I am happy, I give my 100 per cent, I give everything I can.”

Spurs can move ahead of Chelsea into fourth if they beat Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday, which would complete a remarkable turnaround in fortunes, but Mourinho insists that he is still getting to know his new squad.

“I need to understand the players, the persons. Not even the players, but the persons they are,” he said. “I need time to understand that, you don’t know a person by a look, you don’t know a person by one week of work, and I work with so many different people that I just want, in this moment, to learn everything I can about them.

“If you speak with me in two years’ time, I will probably know them deeply. In this moment, everything is very superficial, and a very important part of the work is to try to know them the best I can.”

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