Tottenham struggle to get motivated for UEL – Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said some of his players lack motivation for the Europa League group phase after his side struggled to a 3-3 draw at LASK Linz on Thursday.

Spurs scored penalties through Gareth Bale and Dele Alli either side of Son Heung-min’s second-half goal but LASK earned a deserved draw through Mamoudou Karamoko’s stoppage-time strike from the edge of the box.

The result gave Spurs the point they needed to reach the knockout stages with a game to spare but they must beat Royal Antwerp next week to finish as Group J winners.

Asked what he learned from Spurs’ performance, Mourinho said: “Nothing new really. The fact that the Europa League group phase doesn’t motivate some of the players, I knew it.

“When I saw the warm-up before the game I had a feeling and I told the players before the game that there was a huge difference in intensity, communication and enthusiasm in their warm-up and our warm-up because I was looking at both.

“Nothing surprises me.”

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Spurs were without striker Harry Kane due to an unspecified injury, but Mourinho said the England international should be fit to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

“I could be now doing some bluff or trying to pretend that he’s in big trouble. He’s not in big trouble,” Mourinho said. “I believe that he’s going to play.”

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