Jose's five-point preview - Lokomotiv Plovdiv
Thu 17 September 2020, 07:22|Tottenham Hotspur
Our regular pre-match sit down with Jose Mourinho, who told us exactly what we can expect when we take on Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the second qualifying round of the Europa League at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Bulgaria this evening (5pm UK).
1 - Lokomotiv Plovdiv
First of all, Jose’s general thoughts on Lokomotiv Plovdiv and the draw...
Jose: “I think we were very unlucky with the draw. Of course, I also think Plovdiv were very unlucky with the draw too. They could have much easier opponents, and we could have much easier opponent too. Looking to this round, there are lots of teams that don’t have half of their potential. They are a good team and will be a difficult opponent.”
2 - Analysis
It’s fair to say few Spurs fans would have seen much of our opponents, so Jose offered this insight into what we can expect in Plovdiv...
Jose: “They play with three centre-backs, three giants. They are aggressive, they win duels. They play with two strikers, big, strong, direct. The wing-backs are fast and creative, the strikers are massive. Many times, the teams that play against them finish with 10 men, not because they are aggressive, but because they react to things that can happen during the game. The pitch is not fabulous. It’s going to be tough.”
3 - Win or lose, in or out
Jose used the example of Benfica - who lost out in a Champions League qualifier to Greek side PAOK this week - to emphasise the importance of this tie...
Jose: “This is a knockout match, no second match and even Tuesday, in the Champions League, there was a surprise with Benfica knocked out by PAOK. The result was 2-1, and probably in this one, with a second leg, Benfica would quite easily change the result but the reality is that we are going to play a good game, lose and we are out of the competition, so we have to take it very seriously. We are going there knowing it is black or white, there is no other option. You win or lose, you are in or out. We go with the intention of being in the next round. I believe it is a good competition to develop my team and try to win it.”
4 - Mentality
We asked Jose: “Is mentality the key to this tie?”
Jose: “It is. I showed the players Monday, I didn’t even wait until Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning, I showed them Monday how difficult this match could be. I wanted them to have the notion of what they are going to face, the difficulty of the game, the responsibility of the game and of course, coming back to the example of Benfica, they are out of the Champions League but they now enter the Europa League, but any team that loses these matches in the Europa League doesn’t have another European competition to go to. So, for us, very important to go to the next round.”
5 - Relish
You just get the feeling that Jose relishes this type of match...
Jose: “I had a good experience with United in the Europa League, and I think it’s going to be similar with us. When a club like Tottenham goes to the Europa League, we are one of the big names, one of the big clubs, so we are one of the big motivations for all the opponents. For them, it’s a big day, they have nothing to lose and of course, they think they can win. I had this experience. I had matches with United in Rostov (Russia), in Luhansk (Zorya Luhansk, Ukraine), really, really hard. I expect the same. It’s nothing new for me, and I passed that message to the players. We are working seriously in relation to that and the team that is going to start the game is the perfect example of how seriously we are taking this match.”