Jose Mourinho still believes he can deliver trophies to Tottenham even if he has endured a torrid start to life in north London.
The Portuguese was brought to the club to replace Mauricio Pochettino in November but it has been a struggle and his side face a battle just to qualify for the Europa League, facing a potentially decisive clash with Arsenal on Sunday.
In his defence, he inherited a tricky situation at the club – a squad reaching the end of its cycle and hurting from a Champions League final loss, £100million of signings failing to fire and a host of injury problems to key players.
And Mourinho, who is one of the most decorated managers in the game, believes he will bring success to Spurs if he is given the time, like Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
“How long it took for Jurgen and Liverpool?” Mourinho said. “Four years, four seasons. Buying one of the best goalkeepers in the world, buying one of the best centre-backs in the world and so on and so on and so on.
“I’m focused on my three-year contract. I believe that in my three-year contract we can win trophies. If we don’t, but the club does it in the new era if I stay here only for three years, I will be happy with that.
“I work for the club. I’m not thinking about myself. I keep saying that my ambition is the same, my DNA is the same, but probably I am in the stage where I look less to myself and my records and I look more to the club.
“I am more a club man than the guy that is focused on himself and on his history and on his records. So we are ready to work together.
“I am optimistic because I start working from day one. Because I believe we are going to make some changes in our squad, and for that we don’t need a huge investment like the club made in the past summer.
“Don’t forget that was a huge investment in the last summer on transfers.
“Because I don’t believe, I cannot believe, that the season is going to be so full of negative episodes like we’ve had since practically day one. So there are many reasons to believe that it is going to be different.”
A torrid run of injuries prior to the lockdown saw Spurs slump out of the Champions League race, but Mourinho is pointing to his record since he arrived in November.
Only Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Southampton and Wolves have taken more points than Spurs since he took over.
“I think I’m not wrong if I say something like since I arrived the number of points we did would leave us now not in the position that we are but in a much better position,” he said.
“So there is a past before I arrived which was already a very difficult situation to manage. Everything was so, so strange during the season, so it’s difficult to speak about evolutions, it’s difficult to speak about targets. It’s really, really strange. But four matches to go, 12 points to fight for, best possible position to fight and a derby that means a lot to the fans.
“So enough things, enough motivation to fight.”
Having seen their team challenge for the Premier League title and reach a Champions League final under Pochettino, Spurs fans are understandably disturbed about their current plight.
Chairman Daniel Levy is the constant target of criticism for not backing the team in the transfer window, but Mourinho pointed to last summer where the club spent over £100m.
“The only thing that I feel is quite an injustice is to forget that the best stadium in the world is there, the best training ground in the world is here, and around £100m investment in the summer,” he said. “If I’m not wrong that was probably one of the biggest investments by a Premier League club (that) is considered quite not committed with evolution or not committed with an investment. £100million.
“Then you can discuss good, bad, successful, not successful. You can discuss all these things.
“But nobody can discuss that around £100m was on the table in the last summer which I think is proof, open proof, that the club wanted to invest.”