Jose's five-point preview - Maccabi Haifa
Thu 01 October 2020, 11:25|Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho’s regular pre-match interview with us - next up, Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League play-off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this evening (Thursday, 8pm).
1 - Team news
As we come towards the end of this unprecedented run of matches, only one place to start - team news. Did Jose have any news after Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup win against Chelsea?
Jose: “No injuries, lots of fatigue. It was a very intense game, 90 minutes plus the pressure and emotion of the penalty shoot-out, lots of people tired, like lots of people were tired after Newcastle and we managed to change the team and the players gave everything and they were fantastic. Of course, we are going to change many players for this match, another knockout, another match that involves lots of pressure, because we feel it, we feel the responsibility and desire to do it. I’m so happy with the way the players are answering this difficult moment, and we go with everything.”
2 - Preparation
What could Jose and his team do with the players between Chelsea on Tuesday night and tonight’s Europa League tie?
Jose: “They rest, they try to recover, try to sleep. As a Club, we give them the best conditions to have all the best recovery strategies. There are no miracles. It’s obvious that Eric Dier cannot play. He was one who was chosen to have the difficult step of Sunday/Tuesday. So, it’s more about that and to analyse the opponent and to try to do on the theory side of game what we cannot do on the pitch.”
3 - Maccabi Haifa
Our opponents finished second in the Israeli Premier League last season and have progressed from the first qualifying round to tonight’s play-off. What does Jose expect from Maccabi Haifa?
Jose: “It’s obviously the best team of the three we’ve played, one step ahead - better players, better quality, better intensity. I don’t think it’s an easy game at all. It will demand everything from us. They have some players with experience of English football. The two wingers played in England for a few years. The striker is a good striker, they have good midfielders, strong defenders, a good mentality, and they dream. Obviously, they dream.”
4 - Home sweet home
We’ve travelled to Bulgaria and North Macedonia so far in qualifying - how much difference will it make playing at home?
Jose: “The most important thing for me is the quality of the surface. We’ve played on slow surfaces, pitches not at the level we’re used to. So, the quality of the surface, of course we miss the fans, we miss their noise, their passion, but the quality of the surface is most important for us.”
5 - Sergio
Back to Tuesday night’s win against Chelsea, what did Jose make of Sergio Reguilon’s debut?
Jose: “We have two incredible full-backs on the left, very different to each other, one thing is Ben, another is Sergio. But to have them both is a great privilege. Sergio impressed everyone on Tuesday night. Not me, because I knew, I follow the Spanish league, Real Madrid and then in Sevilla, he was magnificent. So, not a surprise for me. To have Ben and Sergio is a luxury.”