Mourinho: Tottenham must focus on own task

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho on the touchline during the Premier League match at Bramall

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho on the touchline during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane - Credit: PA

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho knows his side can only look after their own business as they aim to book Europa League qualification at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

A fine surge of form has put Spurs into contention, but it is out of their hands going into the final day of the season as they have to beat Palace and hope Wolves drop points at Chelsea to be guaranteed qualification via a sixth-placed finish.

If Wolves finish sixth then Mourinho’s men must wait until next weekend’s FA Cup final to learn their fate as an Arsenal win against Frank Lampard’s men will deny them a European spot.

“We have a couple of possibilities of playing Europe next season but we’re in the hands of others, so to finish sixth we need to win and we need Wolves not to win,” he said.

“To finish seventh and qualify for Europe we need Arsenal not to win the FA Cup.

“So we have options to be there, but we depend on other results. The only feeling that I can have is that we can beat Palace and add three more points to our total.

“And then I don’t know. Finish sixth, finish seventh, Arsenal wins, Arsenal loses, I don’t know. Me and my players have only to focus on a good run, keep the performance, focus on the match, play really serious, big game for us but I don’t know.”

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There are benefits to missing out on Europe all together as Chelsea and Leicester have both won the Premier League in recent years by only having domestic competitions to focus on.

But Mourinho would prefer for his side to qualify, even if it is not the premier competition.

“I prefer Europe. I prefer to play Europa League than not to do it,” he said.

“It’s an advantage not to play, it is, because you have one match per week, you prepare every match, you have less injuries, you have less fatigue, you don’t travel the same, no accumulation, no mental fatigue, lots of advantages.

“But I prefer the team to compete in Europa League. Even not being the top European competition, is a European competition, and I prefer to do it.

“It is a competition where the level drops, especially on the group phase before the teams that come from the Champions League. (It) is also a competition where you can perfectly give a chance and work the evolution of the younger players.

“So of course I would prefer to play Europa League.”