London (AFP) – Jose Mourinho said Tottenham’s dressing room is divided by “selfish” players and agents who have their own relationships with the press.
Mourinho was speaking after a vital win in the chase for a top-four Premier League finish.
Spurs responded to an embarrassing Europa League exit at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday, courtesy of goals from Carlos Vinicius and Harry Kane.
Captain Hugo Lloris had strongly criticised the underlying culture at the club in a stinging interview following Thursday’s loss in Croatia, pointing the finger at fringe players who were not fully committed.
Mourinho appeared to agree with that assessment, saying it was difficult to keep a harmonious dressing room in the modern game.
“Football nowadays is not easy in relation to that,” he told Sky Sports. “The selfishness is around, the individual interests are around, the agents are around, the connections between agents and press are around.
“And instead of developing a feeling of a team, empathy, ‘I do for you, you do for me’, ‘I win if I play 90 minutes, I win if I am in the stands’.
“This is something that you need time to develop in a group. Nowadays you need time because society and the psychological profile of younger people is not an easy one.”
Mourinho, who made a number of changes for the Aston Villa match, was happy with the response of his side, which leaves them just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
“I’m very happy with the result, I’m very happy with the performance, I’m very happy with the attitude,” said the Portuguese.
“I’m not happy with the feeling that if you did it tonight, why you didn’t do it 48 hours ago? That match on Thursday will be a scar for a long time.
“It’s not going to heal just because we won, but total credit to the players. They were a team. They fought together. They put in the game that honesty, that dignity that football players should put in every match.”
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