Football

Jose Mourinho: Brentford the biggest game of my Tottenham tenure

Mourinho hails importance of League Cup s-final against second-tier Brentford

Jose Mourinho yesterday labelled Tottenham Hotspur's League Cup semi-final against Brentford as the most important match of his reign.

Mourinho's side host second-tier Brentford tomorrow morning (Singapore time) looking to reach the League Cup final against Manchester United or Manchester City.

Tottenham are without a major trophy since winning the 2008 League Cup and he is desperate to end that drought.

league cup SEMI-FINAL
TOTTENHAM BRENTFORD

Mourinho, who has lifted the League Cup four times in his career, believes the significance of winning silverware this season makes the Brentford game more important than any other since he took charge in November 2019.

"Yes, I think so. In the perspective of the club chasing silverware for many years, I would say so," said the 57-year-old.

"Of course, we always have important matches, last season we had a match at Palace that would give us participation in this season's Europa League or not.

"The match against Leeds (last Saturday) was very important as we went a few games without a victory in the Premier League, but I would say a semi-final is always a very important match. The only one more important is a final."

Mourinho has won the competition three times with Chelsea and once with Manchester United.

It was his first trophy in English football back in 2005 and he insisted it remains a worthwhile tournament despite some clubs fielding weakened teams.

"I won the Carling Cup in my first season after a few months in England in 2004/05, so for me, every competition is different and it doesn't matter the club where you are or the ambitions you have," he said.

"That is my way of looking at things, especially at a club without silverware for more than one decade. After more than one decade, every competition becomes more important and, if we win two matches, we win a trophy.

"Two difficult matches, of course. But if we win, we get a trophy, which I think would be a very good thing for the club and for the players.

"It is about my club, it is about the players who want trophies, it is about fans who want trophies."

Brentford are fourth in the Championship and narrowly missed out on promotion to the English Premier League this season, after they suffered a 2-1 loss to Fulham in the play-off final at Wembley.

Considered one of the most attractive teams in the division, the Bees have in recent years regularly sold players to EPL clubs for big money, like Neal Maupay, Chris Mepham, Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins.

Said Spurs midfielder Harry Winks: "It will be a tough game... We cannot afford to be complacent. Even though they're in the Championship, they can still hurt us.

"It's important we approach the game right. It's important we play when we can play and that we take our chances." - AFP

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