LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho said Tottenham Hotspur can achieve something beautiful next season in the Europa League after a final day draw at Crystal Palace booked them a place in the competition.
It might not placate all Tottenham fans who have enjoyed watching their club in the Champions League for the past four seasons, but provided some consolation at the end of a disruptive campaign.
Tottenham were 14th in the Premier League and drifting when Chelsea’s former ‘Special One’ arrived in November to replace Mauricio Pochettino, having won only three times in the league.
Under the Portuguese they finished sixth after a strong finish to the season, winning five of their nine league games since the restart of the season and losing only once.
“Of course everybody that one day plays Champions League doesn’t want to go back and play Europa League but that was the only thing possible after such a difficult season for the club, for the players and also for myself,” said Mourinho.
“But arriving 14th and handling things is not bad at all. I am quite happy next season we play in Europa League. It’s just a question to motivate ourselves for that competition and try to motivate the fans to support us to do something beautiful.”
While Tottenham have looked far more solid in the latter part of the season, whether or not they can challenge the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United when the new season starts is questionable.
Mourinho will no doubt like some squad additions during the brief off-season but he is not sure how much he will be allowed to spend. Another striker to lighten the load on Harry Kane, a right back and more creativity in midfield will be the priority.
“When all the players are available we showed in this last period where we belong,” he said. “I don’t know, maybe in this period, after lockdown, we finished third or fourth.
“Of course as a squad the main thing is to keep our very good players and after that improve the squad.
“Are we going to buy 10 players? No. Are we going to buy players for £100m? No. We are going to improve. I enjoy working with Steve (Hitchen - Spurs chief scout) in this organisation.
“We’re going to do what is possible to do and hopefully next season we can give it to the fans a very good season.” (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)