Mourinho plays the Covid card as Spurs open with loss to Everton

September 14 – Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has  revealed that a number of the club’s players caught Covid-19 during the summer.

Tottenham slumped to a disjointed and underwhelming 1-0 home defeat to Everton on Sunday – Mourinho’s first ever opening day loss as a manager – after which he partly blamed coronavirus.

Mourinho did not name the players who had been infected but said it had disrupted his side’s preparations for the new season.

“For different reasons many of our players didn’t have proper pre-seasons,” he said.

“We had cases of positive Covid, we have the right not to say which players, but we had players, we had other players in quarantine due to proximity with positive players.

“We had a player in quarantine because he was on holiday in a country which the government quarantined, we had national teams where many of them went to their team so it was a difficult pre-season.”

If Mourinho was looking for trademark excuses, however, they will fall on deaf ears.

This is a hugely important season for the Portuguese who has yet to convince the Spurs faithful that he was the right man to replace Mauricio Pochettino last November.

Having finished sixth in the table after a strong finish last time out, Spurs are looking to push on in 2020-21 but were woefully poor on Sunday with England marksman Harry Kane only touching the ball twice in Everton’s penalty area

Many more games like the Everton fixture and Mourinho, with a point to prove after being sacked from his last two jobs despite winning countless trophies beforehand, will face mounting pressure – if he doesn’t already.

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