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Fri 22 November 2019, 09:45|Tottenham Hotspur

Jose Mourinho will take his first game as our new Head Coach at West Ham on Saturday (12.30pm).

Here's what he had to say on his week so far, playing in derbies and what he expects from the Hammers in his first five-point match preview with us.

1 - Getting to know you

We spoke to Jose ahead of his first press conference on Thursday afternoon. By then he'd had two training sessions with the squad, so we asked how those sessions had gone...

Jose: “You will have to ask them if they enjoyed it as much as I did, because I really enjoyed it. That’s not just because I was missing training sessions, it was because I really enjoyed it. Of course, there were some limitations. Even today, we didn’t have a full group training, still a couple to arrive, so not perfect, but I really enjoyed it and I think the answer was good. I think they understand the message that I cannot arrive and with two sessions, change a lot of things. I also have to trust in the good work that was done before my arrival. That has to be the base. It’s an important game, our opponent is a very good team and a rivalry in these London matches, we go to try to improve as a team and to get the result that we want.”

2 - Preparations

Most of the squad have been away on international duty for the best part of a fortnight, so Jose is preparing for his first game off the back of two-and-a-half days of preparation time. What was he looking for in the short time he's had with his players ahead of West Ham?

Jose: “Principles of play. We have to be intelligent in the way we select information, we have to be intelligent in the way we control the intensity of training. They come from national teams, they have a new manager they want to impress and I have to control all these human instincts, so it’s a good selection of exercises, a good selection of principles of play, trusting the good work that was done before, the base of the team. I don’t have great experience in arriving mid-season, it’s only the second time that has happened – I did it in Porto, January 2001 – but from my analysing of the situation, which I was doing for a few months, because I knew I would get a team in mid-season, and the basic thought was in my first weeks I cannot just go and change by change, just by trying to impress. I don’t try to impress, I just try to do what’s best to the team and the best thing for the team is that I respect some of the base work they have.”

3 - Derby day

Jose has experienced some of the biggest derbies in the world, not just in London, but in Milan, Manchester and El Clasico with Madrid. How much does he enjoy these occasions?

Jose: “Yes, I enjoy them. Of course, you enjoy big matches. Of course, you enjoy big emotions. I think it’s around emotions that we all fell in love with football. You don’t fall in love with football in matches without salt and pepper, without this kind of emotion. These are the matches you love to play. From a motivational point of view, I don’t have to be worried with the players, the motivation will be in every player of both sides.”

4 - The Hammers

What does Jose expect from West Ham at the London Stadium tomorrow?

Jose: “West Ham has always a great atmosphere, even with the change of the stadium, the passion of the fans, the participation in the game is always there. They have very good players, a very good manager, a team, like us, can do better and should be in a better position in the table. I think they have the same motivations we have. We and West Ham, we don’t belong to that part of the table and both teams want to get out of that and to try to look for other targets.”

5 - Targets

Finally, we asked Jose for his targets for the rest of the season...

Jose: "To smile again is very important. In relation to the Premier League, we know where we are, and we know that we don’t belong there. We are closer to the bottom than we are to the top, but we have no fear, we are not afraid of that. There is no fear in relation to that. If you think about the distances, we lose motivation, we lose self-esteem, so I don’t think we should do that. I think we should just play match after match, the next match we want to win and that’s the same about the next and the next and the next until the last. At the end of the season, we will see where we are, but I know we are going to be in a different position than we are now. Let’s see what we can do. In the other competitions in which we are involved, we are there. And when you go to cup competitions you know you depend on many factors, you depend on many aspects, but you have the same chance as everybody else."