José Mourinho says that he has banned his Tottenham players from watching the video nasty of their 7-2 Champions League home loss to Bayern Munich in October, which represented one of the final cuts for his managerial predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino.
Mourinho is in Munich for Wednesday night’s return Group B fixture, although there is not the same degree of jeopardy given that both clubs have already qualified for the knock-out rounds. Bayern have suffered back-to-back Bundesliga defeats and are in turmoil as they lag seventh in their domestic division but, to Mourinho, the recent past was not a principle concern.
“I forbid any image of it [the 7-2],” Mourinho said. “I watched it a couple of times: me, my staff and analysts try to go through every single aspect of that but not one single image for the boys. No. Not at all. We’re going to focus more on us than on Bayern.
“We’re going to try to develop our model of play, with different bodies, different phases, different players. But there is a certain way that we try to play football and try to develop our principles of play. And we’re totally focussed on us.”
Mourinho has left 10 players in London, resting Serge Aurier, Jan Vertonghen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane. In addition, Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Ben Davies, Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela are injured. He is set to set with the youngsters Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon. The line-up will still feature established quality and he expects his defence to be given an exacting test by the prolific Bayern striker, Robert Lewandowski.
“You think our team is the same without Harry Kane?” Mourinho said. “It’s not the same. And, of course, Bayern depend a little on Lewandowski. Their coach thinks differently to me. I left Harry Kane at home, and I expect Lewandowski to play. But maybe he gets injured [on Wednesday night] and doesn’t play at the weekend – so it’s better he thinks twice and doesn’t play Lewandowski!
“I arrive in mid-season, without four, five, six weeks to work and know the players – so we have to do everything while we are running. It’s very important to be that the players are coachable and open. I think the boys need me and my job is to help them.”