PREMIER LEAGUE

Tottenham: Mourinho tells Spurs players that attitude "is non-negotiable"

Tottenham players have been told to show the right attitude and character if they want to be part of Jose Mourinho's plans, the manager has declared.

Mourinho tells Tottenham stars 'attitude is non-negotiable'

José Mourinho has told his Tottenham squad that showing the right attitude is "not negotiable" as he looks to create a stronger sense of unity among the players. Mourinho accused his players of a lack of desire in a 3-1 Premier League defeat to Sheffield United and claimed the sight of his team being beaten through a basic will to win "destroys me a little bit on the inside".

Spurs stars squabble

Monday's 1-0 victory over Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was marred by a clash between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min shortly before half-time, in which team-mates had to keep them apart, although Mourinho insisted he was "very happy" to see such a level of passion. Speaking ahead of Thursday's game against relegation-threatened Bournemouth, the Spurs boss says he has made it clear to his players that such displays of character are essential to winning teams.

"I always say that in winning teams, and I told the players that I can speak about winning teams because I belong to some of them, that there are things that are not negotiable," Mourinho told reporters. "What is not negotiable is a certain attitude, soul, DNA, character. Then you can, in a better day or not, face an opponent who makes it easier or difficult for you. [There is] unpredictability in football games, sometimes you deserve to win and sometimes you don't, but some things are not negotiable. Character: being demanding with yourself, with each other. Sometimes [you must] be an external source of motivation for the guy who plays in the same team as you. That leads many times to disagreement, discussion, but I think it's a really, really important thing.

"So, I was very happy with the team attitude during the game," he continued. "Of course, I would prefer the little discussion to happen inside the dressing room, not outside - people can interpret [it] a different way. But I think it was a new thing in the team, a thing players do more times internally, be demanding with each other and grow up together."

Football and social media

Part of the problem in modern sides, according to Mourinho, is it is too easy for players to isolate themselves on social media or using games consoles even when staying at team hotels. The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss is determined to improve the communication between his players, although he insists that will not involve lectures on his part.

"If I think overall, comparing examples of my time as assistant coach, Barcelona, Porto, 25 years ago or so, the players they used to be together all the time," he said. "No Xbox, PlayStation, social media. Quite the beginning of mobile phones. But players used to spend all the time together. Even when you go to hotels, together all the time, [it is] much easier to develop intimacy, trust, build a certain dynamic in the group. In a hotel, every player has his own bedroom, they go there, they are not alone, they are on Zoom, FaceTime, they are on social media 'together' playing some Xbox or PlayStation, but they don't need to share the same space. Just a society thing - the interaction is different. But probably at a personality level, you don't get same kind of communication that you had. We need to stimulate it all the time, not to be closed in their own shell. It's a team effort, team group, team sport - you don't play alone. A team has to be more than the sum of the individuals. You need to interact, communicate, share ideas. You need to discuss what happened in the game, need to motivate each other. I believe this; I believe there are some managers that don't do that. I am upset with silence. I hate the silence in a dressing room, in a meeting, I hate monologues, I don't like to be in front of the players, speaking for 20 minutes without interaction. Something I stimulate, my way of being, my way of leading. My team the other day showed me the other day they need to improve at that level."