Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho is currently facing one of the most difficult spells of his managerial career. For a man who has won numerous trophies in different countries, the Portuguese finds himself under intense pressure at Spurs.
Their humiliating exit from the Europa League in midweek is still fresh in the memories of fans. Tottenham Hotspur squandered a 2-0 first-leg advantage at Dinamo Zagreb in the Round of 16 of the competition, losing 3-2 on aggregate after a disastrous and insipid performance in the second leg.
It has been a mixed season so far for the North London outfit, as they face a battle to finish in the Premier League’s top four. However, Mourinho’s side put up a solid performance on their return to domestic duty on Sunday, beating Aston Villa 2-0 to boost their chances of playing in the Champions League next season.
Tottenham Hotspur bounce back from Europa League disaster
Nothing helps a team build momentum more than recording a win immediately after a setback. After consecutive defeats to Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb, Tottenham Hotspur badly needed to redeem themselves.
And they did just that against Dean Smith’s side at Villa Park. Unlike in their previous two games, Tottenham Hotspur started this one on the front foot and took the game to their opponents.
The attitude of Tottenham Hotspur players has been severely criticised in recent weeks, but they showed enough fighting spirit in this game. Despite taking a first-half lead through Carlos Vinicius, Spurs did not take their foot off the gas.
They continued to press and attack till they secured a second goal, thanks to an expertly-converted penalty from Harry Kane. It’s been a tough week for Tottenham Hotspur and Mourinho, but this was a great way to bounce back to winning ways.
Tottenham Hotspur boost their top-four hopes
Despite all the criticism Mourinho has coped up this season, the Portuguese can still end the season on a high. Tottenham Hotspur's win over Aston Villa brings them right back into the race for a top-four finish.
Spurs are now up to sixth in the Premier League table, only three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. Surely, a bit more consistency could see them break into the Champions League places.
"We had the attitude. Of course, we changed little tactical details, but this was not about tactics; this was about attitude. So, total credit to the players. The players gave it everything,” Mourinho told Sky Sports after the game. Everyone was at the limit. We saw cramps; we saw fatigue. We saw the things that are connected with a performance where you give everything. Tonight was one of these matches where we had to give everything. But my next challenge as the coach is for them to have this attitude every match and not just as a reaction to a bad result,” said Mourinho.
Tottenham Hotspur have underwhelmed for much of the season, but they can still turn things around with a couple of wins. There is also the chance to win the Carabao Cup, and now they've also boosted their chances of finishing in the top four.