Okay, this is still weird, but Jose Mourinho has given his first press conference as Tottenham Hotspur’s head coach.
As expected, it was box office.
Mourinho, 56, answered questions from reporters at Spurs’ training ground on Thursday ahead of their clash at bitter London rivals West Ham United on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss began by praising his friend Mauricio Pochettino who was fired less than 12 hours before he was hired as Spurs’ new manager.
“Mauricio, for the work he did, this club will be always his home,” Mourinho said. “He can come when he wants. When he misses the players, when he misses the people he work with. The door is always open for him. He will find happiness again. He will find a great club again. He will have a great future.”
Mourinho then interestingly said he will not make the same mistakes he made previously in his career, as he’s spent his recent time off tweaking his methods and thinking about how he can evolve as a coach.
“I always thought that these 11 months were not a waste of time. They were months to think, to analyse, to prepare. You never lose your DNA, you never lose your identity, you are what you are,” Mourinho added. “I am humble. I am humble enough to analyze my career, and the problems. There was no one else to blame… I went really deep in that analysis… I am stronger, I am relaxed, I am motivated, I am ready and I think the players felt that in two days. I am ready to support them, this is not about me. It is about the club. I am here to try and help everyone.”
The press conference room was packed, with a limit of one journalist per organization such was the demand, and Mourinho smiled and lapped up the attention as he is back in the Premier League after a 11-month hiatus after his firing by Man United.
“Happiness-wise I am convinced my choice was a great one,” Mourinho said. “The club is huge. I know that I have potentially a great job in my hands.”
With Spurs 11 points off the top four, Mourinho has a heck of a job on his hands but he is now in role he relishes.
The Special One is the underdog once again.