Football

Jose Mourinho slams Tottenham Hotspur for 'lacking ambition'

But Redknapp believes Wolves' equaliser was caused by manager's substitution

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho admonished his players after losing another lead, this time to Wolverhampton Wanderers in yesterday morning's (Singapore time) 1-1 draw, to continue a poor run that has seen them slip from first to fifth in the English Premier League.

"It is disappointing, of course," Mourinho said, acknowledging frustration after Tanguy Ndombele's goal after 57 seconds was cancelled out by Romain Saiss' 86th-minute header.

"We had control of the game. But we had 89 minutes to score more goals, and we didn't. And it was not just about not scoring goals, it was also about not being dangerous, not being ambitious, and for me, that's the problem."

Spurs sat back at Molineux in the second half, giving Wolves space and confidence to press for an equaliser, as happened at Crystal Palace in another 1-1 away draw earlier this month.

They have dropped nine points in the last 10 minutes of matches this season, more than any other EPL side.

The draw at Wolves left Spurs in fifth place and six points behind leaders Liverpool when a win would have put them third.

"Of course, tomorrow we are going to have a similar meeting as other meetings we have had," a weary Mourinho said.

"And of course, after tomorrow, we are going to practise the same thing we have practised after similar situations... Of course, it (conceding late goals) is a concern, but I repeat, it is more of a concern the fact that we score early goals and we don't do (more in) matches."

Former Spurs and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp, however, said Mourinho's decision to take off scorer Ndombele for Moussa Sissoko with 20 minutes left cost his former side.

WHY TAKE NDOMBELE OFF?

He said on Sky Sports: "He brought off Tanguy Ndombele, who was in the form of his life; he was running the game, doing great things, full of confidence and then he took him off.

"That sets the tone for the rest of the players. He took Son (Heung-min) off as well and he is saying: 'We are now going to hang on to what we have got'.

"That then transmits to the players and you get deeper and deeper, and in the end the inevitable comes. They were playing against a team that keeps going; we know they score late goals."

Mourinho said Gareth Bale, who is on loan from Real Madrid and was substituted with a calf injury in a midweek League Cup win at Stoke City, would probably be out for a few weeks.

In contrast to Spurs, Wolves have been comeback specialists under Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who once played as a goalkeeper under his compatriot when Mourinho managed Porto.

"It has not only to do with fitness, it has to do with belief, with the spirit of the boys," he said of Wolves' knack of late revivals, praising them for not giving up against Spurs.

Without injured star striker Raul Jimenez, the Wolves boss said: "It's up to the team to find solutions, to find things that usually Raul gave us. Everyone has to step in and contribute." - REUTERS

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