Mourinho said every word about what he said to his players before Las Draw, Bale and Kane’s fitness

What did you do with that performance?

Not good, better results than performance. The second half is better than the first half. Some of the players had excellent personal performances. For some the personal performances were too bad. So the only positive thing I take from the game is, of course, that we deserve it, with the chance to end first if we drop Antwerp.

Did you learn anything?

Nothing really new. I know the Europa League team stage did not inspire some players. Some players are basic to us and in any situation I always need on the pitch, these two players need to give the team a little balance.

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Hodgson and Sony, for example, do not think we would have a positive outcome without them. I really have nothing to learn.

The players know it, I share my feelings with them, I’m normally right, I had a feeling when I saw the warm up before the game, and I told the players before the game that it was a big difference in intensity, communication and excitement as I was watching both of them warm up and our warm up. Nothing surprised me.

How close is Gareth Bale to the fitness level you want from him?

You watched the match. I took him out 10 or 15 minutes ago to save the last two runs he might have. So we played almost 90 minutes with the qualities he has in this moment of the game.

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He has a lot of positive things in his game and of course you can see that he has little bits to improve.

How well do you want to play against Antwerp to beat the team?

Every match we played in the Europa League we had to play like we played at home. In the play-offs we played McCabe, Ludocorets and Lask and our team at home was a different house.

When we go to Antwerp, Ludocorets, Linz, the stadium, the weather, the emptiness, of course at home it is related, but that atmosphere I have a feeling, but it is not a feeling, it is an experience, some players think they should not be here.

But the paradox is that players like Son and Pierre, the players who start every game, it doesn’t matter where the match is, they are, they are ahead every time the team.

I think this is a question of attitude I have experienced before. I had a similar situation at Manchester United when we lost two matches in the group stage, you get better opponents and more difficulties when we come to the knockouts, the team faces matches differently.

How important is it to win the team?

I think this is important. Look, if we have trouble getting second place and getting anyone, we can say that there are strong enemies, and it is better not to be there.

We should not be afraid of anything, but if we can finish first, we must win our last match at home to finish first. This will give us an advantage that we should not waste.

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So we qualify and we don’t have the pressure to play in the last match and win to qualify.

But I think we have to win that match and I believe we are going to do it.

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Does Harry Kane fit into the North London Derby?

I hope he fits. I’m not sure he’s in treatment. But I can do some cheating now or try to pretend he is in big trouble. He’s not in big trouble. I hope he’s going to play.

Will players get more motivated in the knockout stages?

My experience tells me that when it comes to knockouts, you get the toughest matches. You know there is no room for error, you can lose one match at the group stage, you can draw another match, you still qualify.

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No space at the knockout stage. At the same time the knockout phase, the backbone of the team, strengthens the structure of the team because instead of one, two or three players you play five or six, which gives more guarantees for an attitude and level of performance. So yes, I think the knockout is even more provocative.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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