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Europa League

Matt Doherty’s honest Jose Mourinho admission as Tottenham continue manager search


Tottenham’s Matt Doherty admits he and the players must shoulder part of the blame for Jose Mourinho’s failure.

The Special One was axed in north London after less than 18 months in charge.

Tottenham had sat top in December but a steep decline saw them tumble down the table and eventually finish seventh.

They were also embarrassingly dumped out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb.

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Mourinho’s methods copped plenty of criticism as things began to unravel, but Doherty has defended his former boss.

He dismissed suggestions of burnout and hailed the Portuguese coach as amongst the world’s best despite his shortcomings.

“He was only there for 18 months. If it was three or four years, it could be a different conversation, but we just weren’t getting the results for him,” said Doherty.

Matt Doherty concedes Tottenham's players must accept some blame for the poor season
Matt Doherty concedes Tottenham’s players must accept some blame for the poor season

“The manager is always the one to lose his job, but as players, we were the ones on the pitch and we weren’t able to get the results for him, which was a shame because he’s one of the best managers ever.”

The Irishman made the move to the capital from Wolves in the summer but was in and out of the starting XI.

Doherty though believes he was given sufficient minutes by the Special One.

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He added: “I definitely got a fair crack of the whip. I still played 25, 26, 27 games – that’s a lot of games in a season, so I definitely got a fair crack.

“I had a great relationship with him. He was my neighbour for the whole year, so the relationship was fine. He was a great guy, but unfortunately these things happen in football.

Jose Mourinho was sacked in April
Jose Mourinho was sacked in April

“That was the case, but he is Jose Mourinho, he is one of the best ever and I have nothing but praise for him.”

Doherty will now have a new manager at Tottenham next term, although the club are no closer to appointing a permanent boss.

Ryan Mason took charge for the remaining months of the season following Mourinho’s sacking, but will not be getting the job on a full-time basis.

Mauricio Pochettino is thought to be keen on a return to north London, less than two years after being sacked by Daniel Levy.

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His current employers PSG are reluctant to let him go however leaving Tottenham to look elsewhere.

Antonio Conte, who recently left Inter Milan, held talks over the vacancy but they have since collapsed amid several differences.

Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, who was an early candidate, is now being linked once more despite signing a new deal with the Dutch giants.





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