Potter's praise for 'inspirational' Mourinho

Graham Potter is looking forward to pitting his wits against a coach he regards as ‘inspirational’ when Albion take on Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day.

By Bruce Talbot • 24 December 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Graham Potter with Billy Reid

Albion’s head coach was in the crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday to see Spurs’ impressive run since Mourinho arrived last month come to an end with a 2-0 loss to Chelsea in the Premier League.

But he knows Albion face a tough test against a talented team who still have Champions League aspirations, having reached the final last season.

By Paul Hazlewood
Graham Potter was full of praise for Jose Mourinho.

“Mourinho is a top manager and it’s great to have him back in the Premier League,” said Potter. “I have followed his career from the time he arrived in England from Porto. It was inspirational the way he conducted himself and since then he’s had an amazing career. He’s someone I am really looking forward to meeting.

“The manager has changed, but they have still got very good players, who were Champions League finalists not so long ago.

“Obviously, they had a setback against Chelsea, but their results since Mourinho came in have been impressive. It will be a tough game for us for sure.”


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Potter's Spurs press conference

Albion had their best day of the season so far when they defeated Tottenham 3-0 back in October, but Potter says that day’s events will have no bearing on what happens on Boxing Day.

“You still have to perform to win a Premier League game and we did that when we beat them 3-0 at home,” added Potter. “We had a bit of luck with the first goal, which went in off the goalkeeper [Hugo Lloris], who was subsequently injured.

“They had just lost heavily in the Champions League [7-2 against Bayern Munich], but what happened in October is immaterial. They have top players and a top manager - and we know it’s going to be a difficult game.

“We will have to play well - we can’t rely on Tottenham being in a bad moment. That’s what we’ll have to focus on. We have made steps playing against the bigger teams this season, and we will need to take another step on Thursday.”