Spurs boss Mourinho urges Vinicius to toughen up in Premier League

By Timothy Abraham 27 November 2020 10
Spurs boss Mourinho urges Vinicius to toughen up in Premier League

Jose Mourinho claimed Carlos Vinicius must learn to throw his weight around to make an impact with Tottenham in the Premier League after impressing in the Europa League.

Vinicius scored twice in Tottenham's 4-0 rout of Ludogorets in Europa League Group J on Thursday to leave Spurs within a point of reaching the knockout phase.

The brace was Vinicius' first goals for Tottenham since he joined the London club on a season-long loan deal from Portuguese giants Benfica in October.

Vinicius has contributed to five goals (two goals and three assists) in four Europa League appearances for Spurs this term.

Speaking at a post-match media conference head coach Mourinho, however, told Vinicius he must learn to handle the Premier League's physicality become a success in England.

"He is not playing a lot, especially in Premier League, but he helped us to win the game at West Bromwich Albion and in Europa League he is doing okay and adapting," said Mourinho.

"It was good that he scored important goals. Then in the second half he assists Lucas Moura for his goal.

"He is a big boy, a strong boy and needs to be more physical in the Premier League, but I am happy.

"It is good for the team to have that because for example last season, if Harry Kane needed a rest - we couldn't and because Vinicius is here, the squad is much more balanced."

Vinicius' second goal owed much to a piece of selfless play by Dele Alli, who has been on the fringes of Tottenham's impressive run this season.

But the attacking midfielder's attitude in the win against the Bulgarian visitors impressed Mourinho.

"The second one is 75 per cent Dele Alli's goal," added Mourinho. "That's the team. He could try to score but for Vinicius it was an easy goal. A team player does that. No risk and 2-0. Doesn't surprise me that he did that."

Tottenham have won five consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since November 2018, under Mauricio Pochettino (a run of six), whilst they have kept three consecutive clean sheets for the first time since April 2019.

Spurs head to Mourinho's former club Chelsea on Sunday, but he claimed a trip to Stamford Bridge will be about the three points and not the sentimentality of the occasion.

He told BT Sport: "Every game is every game, in the Premier League I don't make any difference because every game you can gain points or lose points. We don't look to the table we look to matches."

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Timothy Abraham