Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is refusing to accept tags of ‘Spursy’ being aimed at his current team as he embarks on his attempt to win a third Europa League on Thursday.
Spurs kick-off their Group J campaign against Austrian side LASK in north London, four days after their Premier League capitulation against West Ham.
Mourinho’s men were coasting to the three points against the Hammers, leading 3-0, until they shipped three goals in the final eight minutes.
It saw them thrown with labels of ‘Spursy’ – a term that has become synonymous with the club for being flaky or failing to deliver when they should.
Mourinho has rubbished those tags this time, though.
“To be honest, what happened is a little bit out of context from what happened the rest of the season,” he said. “Against Southampton we were losing and we were strong enough to change the result.
“At Manchester United the worst thing happened, which was after one minute we were losing and we were strong enough to change that result.
“Against Newcastle, we were solid, we weren’t playing amazing, we were solid, and then what happened is one of the beauties of the VAR this season. So this game was completely out of context.
“I believe that winning 3-0 in minute 80 we could play 50 more matches and it’s not going to happen again. So I don’t want to be sticking on this and stories about ‘Spursy’, or this kind of thing.”
Spurs have a chance to put things right against LASK on Thursday.
It is the third time Mourinho is playing in the competition and, having won it twice previously, the Portuguese is targeting a hat-trick.
“We’re going to try,” he said. “It’s the third time I played the competition and the other two times, one with Porto and one with (Manchester) United, we managed to win it.
“So the record in the Europa League is great, never knocked out. Of course, lost a few matches in the group phase but managed always to win it.”
LASK head coach Dominik Thalhammer has revealed one of his squad has not travelled after testing positive for coronavirus.
Thalhammer is content that all protocol has been followed and says it has caused no disruption to their plans for the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The unnamed player is at home in quarantine and is showing no symptoms.
“It was yesterday evening,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “It did not disrupt us. This particular player, he did not travel with the team, we have done lots of coronavirus testing and it was all negative, but when I discovered that one player was positive then we tested again.
“Only players with negative tests were able to travel to London.
“We wanted to give the English the security that we have done everything and it is important for us.
“Other clubs we hear about individual cases but we were very cautious and for this reason we aren’t particularly concerned, but we did change the plan and travelled earlier.”