Toby Alderweireld explains Tottenham squad reaction to Jose Mourinho sack ahead of final
Jose Mourinho: What now after Tottenham sacking?
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Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld claims the whole squad were “very sad” following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. Spurs relieved Mourinho of his duties last Monday, just six days before today’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
Mourinho had 17 months in charge at Spurs after replacing Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019.
The Portuguese saw his side crash out of the Europa League in dramatic fashion to Dinamo Zagreb, as well as struggle to break into the Champions League qualification places in the Premier League.
Ryan Mason has been placed in interim charge until the end of the season.
Mason won his first match against Southampton on Wednesday but Alderweireld says it has been difficult to see Mourinho and his coaching staff leave the club.
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“It’s been a difficult week because you work with a manager for a year-and-a-half and suddenly he’s not there any more – I think everyone feels very sad about it,” Alderweireld told talkSPORT.
“You’re together. Not just the manager, the training staff in general.
“There are a lot of people you work with on a daily basis. You want to be better together. And then suddenly you’re surprised that he was not there any more. So, of course, that’s very sad.
“But then as a professional you have to be ready to play the game against Southampton. That’s what we did.
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“We tried to focus on the next game. And the best way to get over things is by winning games.”
Alderweireld was not always a regular in Mourinho’s final few weeks in charge.
But the Belgian says the Tottenham players feel responsible for the 58-year-old losing his job.
“Again, in the first moment it [the sacking] hurts you. You never want to see a manager leave,” Alderweireld added.
“We don’t feel like, ‘oh, it’s all because of the manager’. We’re in this together, so we feel responsible 100 per cent. People want to look for problems, but it didn’t feel like that.
“You’re in it together and you try to do the best you can together.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we both wanted as a manager and as a team, but I have massive respect.
“It hurts when you have to see your manager go.”
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