TOTTENHAM fans hoping boss Jose Mourinho can fix their leaky defence should be careful what they wish for.
Mourinho insists he knows what to do about a rearguard which has shipped 14 GOALS in eight games since taking over.
But he warned it would mean curbing the attacking style that supporters also want to see.
In other words, turning Spurs into the typical Mourinho team that purist fans were worried about when he replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month.
Though the good news for their fanbase is he does not plan to switch the emphasis on to defence at the moment.
Ahead of hosting Brighton today, the Portuguese coach said: “I know how to do it.
“But to do it 100 per cent, I am going to take away from the team some qualities that we want to keep.
“To play for a clean sheet and put all the focus on the clean sheet, on the improvement of the defensive organisation and kill all the mistakes that we make, that is not difficult to do.
“The difficulty is to do it with the players they are, with the habits they have.
SHORT CORNER COCK-UP
“To put it right defensively without losing the qualities we can have offensively.”
But staying awake at set-plays is sure to be on the training agenda after Spurs switched off at a short corner against Chelsea on Sunday.
That allowed Blues winger Willian to cut inside and score a 12th-minute opener as they were disappointingly beaten 2-0.
What infuriated Mourinho even more was Spurs also conceded a goal in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United after a poorly-defended quick free-kick.
He added: “If it is a phenomenal action, great, fantastic.
“But it was a short corner. We know how to defend short corners. We know how to defend Willian coming inside on to his best foot.
NO MOUR MR BORING
Goals for and against since Mourinho took over on November 20
MOST GOALS FOR
Man City 23
Man Utd 17
MOST GOALS AGAINST
Aston Villa 13
Man Utd 12
“So yes, it is something that’s not good. And until this moment we’ve tried to do it, but didn’t manage to do it.
“When a team goes with two players we go with two plus cover.
“When they go with three, we go with three plus cover. Chelsea took the short corner in a fast way and we didn’t react. And we should have.
“If you ask me if I’m happy with this, no.
“I always tell the players I accept a technical mistake. I accept the chance that you miss in front of goal.
“I accept the goalkeeper is technically wrong and makes a mistake and it’s a goal. It’s easier for me to accept that than concentration things.
“How can you improve concentration? How can I help a player who doesn’t have this natural condition?
“By working, getting exercises where every second of the exercise demands high concentration levels.
“So if you ask if I’m worried with that, yes, I’m worried with that. If you ask me if I don’t trust these players anymore, I tell you — yes, yes, I trust them.
“And I think with work I am going to improve these players.”
Mourinho will have little option because, as predecessor Pochettino found out, the club likes to keep a tight hold on the transfer purse strings.
The Special One heads into today’s clash with his side in seventh — five points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
Mourinho has claimed five wins from eight games in all competitions since taking charge on November 20.
He said: “I am at Tottenham Hotspur. I know the profile of the club. I know the project, I know the vision.
“I know the objectives and I know that in our transfer market we are just going to react to things that can happen to us in the market.
“If a player leaves, we just need to adapt to it.
“But we are never going to be the kings of the market, attacking important targets, fighting with clubs that are ready with their profile and philosophy to splash the cash.
“We need to do our things in an intelligent way and a creative way.
“And, I repeat, I really like the players that I have.
“The more I work with them, the more that I know them — and the more I realise their qualities and their problems.
“I keep saying I need time and this time is arriving.
“Not from yesterday to the 26th, or the 26th until the 28th.
“But in January, in February, we are going to have a little bit more time to try to improve it.”