Jose Mourinho is expecting a difficult clash against Stoke in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals tomorrow evening, but refused to be drawn on the Championship side’s away dressing room ahead of the clash.
Tottenham travel to face the second-tier outfit in the last eight of the League Cup tomorrow, with the north London side just two victories away from a Wembley final as they look to end the club’s long wait for major silverware this season.
Despite having avoided one of the five Premier League sides left in the competition, Mourinho rejected the notion that his side have been handed a favourable tie at this stage of the competition and says he is expecting a difficult clash against a Stoke side hunting promotion and sitting just outside the Championship’s play-off places.
“To win this tournament we need to win three matches. One against Stoke and then, if we beat Stoke, we will have two more matches to play. Against teams who have the same ambitions as we have,” Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference.
“If I am not wrong, Man City, Arsenal, Man United. Everton, Newcastle, Brentford, everybody wants the same. The difference between Championship and Premier League is minimal.
“The teams are very good, they have very good players and have very good coaches. So even the fact we play Stoke, or Newcastle play Brentford, does not give us easier matches than the others.
“It is a difficult competition to win. We need to win three matches. But going in the direction from what we are saying from the beginning of the season, the next match is a match we want to win, And the next match is Stoke.”
Five 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 against Stoke 🔥
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 22, 2020
Spurs head into the clash on the back of three Premier League games without a win, back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Leicester having seen the north Londoners slip from first to sixth over the past week.
Mourinho says his side’s previous league form has no bearing on their performance on Wednesdat evening, however, but has urged his side to approach the clash with a ‘positive attitude’.
“It has nothing to do with the match we lost or the match we have to play against Wolves next weekend. It is isolated.
“It is a cup game. It is a game to go to the semi-finals or watch the semi-finals on TV. We have to go with a positive attitude and try to win.”
Mourinho refused to be drawn on the facilities that await his side tomorrow evening, with Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock having compared the temporary away dressing room at the Bet365 stadium – used to satisfy coronavirus protocols – to a ‘pigsty’ following a clash between the sides earlier this month.
Mourinho admits he is well aware of Warnock’s comments on the conditions, though says it is a question that should be directed at the football ‘authorities’.
Neil Warnock was fuming about the facilities at Stoke!
What a rant! 😳 pic.twitter.com/234P2O1FlL
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 5, 2020
“Yep, I have a video of it [Warnock’s comments]. A video made from a colleagues that work in another team that recently played against them,” he said.
“I was not going to raise the question. You raised that question but it shouldn’t be a question for me. It should be a question for the authorities.
“All the authorities. Safety authorities but not for me I’m not going to be the bad guy who makes comments about Stoke away dressing room.”