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Sat 15 February 2020, 10:07|Tottenham Hotspur

Jose Mourinho had mixed fortunes during the mid-season winter break, enjoying a productive trip to watch next week’s Champions League opponents RB Leipzig in Bundesliga action at Bayern Munich over the weekend – only to then find himself stranded in Germany.

Thankfully back in time to lead some useful training sessions with the players this week, he sat down with Spurs TV for his usual five-point preview ahead of our return to Premier League action at Aston Villa on Sunday (2pm)...

1 – Winter break

We were last in action in our 3-2 FA Cup replay win at home to Southampton on 5 February. How did Jose find the newly-introduced mid-season break in the intervening period?

Jose: “It was really bad because I was stuck in Munich for a couple of days. Even to leave Munich I had to travel by car to Stuttgart and then only from Stuttgart I had an escape back to London! Apart from this, it was okay, I had my time and I went to Munich to follow, in loco, Leipzig, which I prefer. When I can, I prefer to be in the stadium and to go through every detail.”

2 – Players feeling refreshed

How did Jose feel the squad had benefitted from the winter break?

Jose: “They needed it so much. They were really in physical and psychological need of a little bit (of rest). I’m not saying every player but many of them, they are playing so much and some of them were really on some limits – we could see the way we finished the game against Southampton, an extra game we were not expecting to have, so it was good for them and they’ve come back really well and happy and the week of work has been very good.”

3 – Aston Villa

What had Jose made of Sunday’s opponents since their return to the Premier League last year?

Jose: “Look, they’ve come to the Premier League through Wembley, the play-offs, and a few months later they are going back to Wembley for a cup final. I think that’s obviously remarkable. Are they fighting to stay in the Premier League? Yes they are, but how many are? I think probably 10 clubs are – the table is a little bit like that. They are a good team, they are a difficult team, it’s always difficult at Villa and I’m expecting a Premier League match – and every Premier League match is very difficult, as you know.”

They’ve come back really well and happy and the week of work has been very good.

Jose Mourinho on the players' return following the winter break

4 – Ben Davies

Jose spoke recently about how Welsh international left-back Ben Davies would fit into his plans before he picked up an ankle injury in the Head Coach’s first game at the helm in November. With Ben now back fit, how did Jose feel?

Jose: “He’s training with the team without any limitations. Of course, during his absence, it was also an opportunity for (Japhet) Tanganga to play. I think Tanganga has already six or seven 90-minute matches with the first team during this period, also (Ryan) Sessegnon had the possibility of playing many matches at left-back and to experience some evolution but to have Ben back, of course it’s good. He’s an experienced player and he’s a player that we like.”

5 – 20 games

The trip to Villa Park already represents Jose’s 20th game since his appointment as our Head Coach in November. How did he reflect on his Spurs career thus far?

Jose: “I can’t believe, 20 matches already. The other day I was told something like 850 matches in my career – it’s hard to believe – but 20 matches in such a short period of time… that’s what I like, so I don’t complain. Let’s try to celebrate the 20th with a victory.”