London (AFP) – Jose Mourinho took a swipe at the critics who label him defensive after Tottenham reached 100 goals this season with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Gareth Bale and Harry Kane scored two each as Mourinho’s side climbed to sixth place in the Premier League with their third successive victory.
Despite the perception that Mourinho has made Tottenham a boring team with his conservative tactics, the north Londoners have hit 18 goals in their last six matches in all competitions.
They are only the second club after Bayern Munich in Europe’s big-five leagues to reach that a century of goals in all competitions this term.
The opposition for Tottenham’s recent goal spree might not have been of the highest quality, but that didn’t stop Mourinho making a point of bringing up the milestone.
“I was happy with the attitude, the feeling and naughty smile of scoring 100 goals in the season and we are a defensive team,” Mourinho said.
After Bale’s opener, Tottenham were pegged back by Christian Benteke’s equaliser in first half stoppage-time.
But Mourinho felt that blow would add fuel to Tottenham’s fire and he was proved right as Bale restored their lead before Kane’s brace put the result beyond doubt.
“It looks a silly to say but I’m happy with the goal we conceded. My feeling in the 10 minutes of the first half was that if we finished 1-0 then maybe we would start the second half the same way,” he said.
“We lost a little bit of the hunger and desire to attack. Gareth and Harry scored some incredible goals. Harry’s first one was magnificent.
“It was a good week for us. Three matches, nine points, no injuries and everyone is coming back. We are in a positive moment.
“Next week we have a crucial match in the Europa League (against Dinamo Zagreb)and a derby against Arsenal.”
After a miserable first half of the season following his return to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid, Wales forward Bale is finally hitting his stride.
Bale has six goals in his last six appearances, with Mourinho admitting he still has to be careful with the amount of playing time he gives to the injury-prone star.
“All credit is for Gareth. I trust him and his judgement in his body and feelings. We never want him to go into high levels of fatigue. Even after 55 and 60 minutes we’re in contact,” Mourinho said.
“The plan is to take him off when the first feelings of fatigue arrive. Players can normally cope with it and can finish a match exhausted.
“In his case we need to take care because we need him. In this moment he’s giving so much for the team.”
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