Jose's verdict on RB Leipzig
Wed 11 March 2020, 00:23|Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho once again hailed the squad’s dedication in the wake of Tuesday’s Champions League exit at RB Leipzig.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg of our round of 16 tie against the German side, our task was made all the more difficult when Marcel Sabitzer’s double gave the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead at the RB Arena – 3-0 on aggregate.
But still we kept fighting. Chasing every ball, determined in every tackle, the players gave their all, only for a late goal from substitute Emil Forsberg to make for an unflattering 4-0 aggregate scoreline.
Speaking as the dust settled in Germany, Jose said: “The players were on their limits fighting until they could but also from the mental point of view, the emotional point of view it’s very, very difficult to be on the pitch, to know that it’s a really difficult target to achieve.
“In the second half, the players struggled but they gave everything they could, everything that was in their limits, then Giovani (Lo Celso) with problems and you can see the way Lucas, Dele, Lamela finished the game – really, really tired.
“It’s really hard. They were very intense, they were very physical, the rhythm of their game was very strong. We had an opportunity to score, I thought it was going to be an own goal – I saw the ball inside, we had that chance – then they go there, they score and after that it was really hard.”
With knockout football now off the agenda following our elimination from both the Champions League and FA Cup this month, what is Jose’s message to players and fans for the remainder of the campaign?
“The message is that this is what we have, these are the players that we have,” he said. “Eventually we are going to get, for a few matches – I don’t know – Sissoko or Harry (Kane) or Sonny. Maybe we are going to have them for a few matches and they can help us to fight for the best possible position.
“I think this is an incredibly unlucky season for the Club. Just look to the Leipzig match – before the first leg, we lost Sonny at Villa, before this match, two days before, we lost Bergwijn for the second leg. We don’t speak about Sissoko or Davies or Kane. But we are always positive, we are always ready to fight, we are always ready to believe. If you saw my press conference (on Monday) I was really positive, I was really trying to be positive for the boys – that’s the way we have to keep going until the end.”