No danger of complacency against Arsenal – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says Premier League leaders Tottenham will not need to be warned about complacency ahead of Sunday’s north London derby despite Arsenal’s poor recent form.

The Portuguese manager criticised members of his squad following the 3-3 draw with LASK in the Europa League on Thursday.

He believes some players have lacked motivation during the group stages of the competition, but there will be no shortage of incentive this weekend when Mikel Arteta’s team travel to face Spurs.

The Gunners are 14th in the Premier League, eight points behind Tottenham, but just four months ago they clinched the FA Cup at Wembley.

“I think everybody knows what Arsenal did recently, the way they beat Chelsea (in the final) and (Manchester) City to win the FA Cup,” Mourinho said.

“The way they played in Liverpool in spite of defeat, the way they beat (Manchester) United at Old Trafford, the way they normally play against the top teams.”

He added: “I don’t think I need to (warn the players about complacency). But probably I will… we all know that a derby is nothing to do with form, momentum, injuries, suspensions. It’s nothing to do with that. It’s just Tottenham v Arsenal.”

Spectators will be back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time in nine months when Arsenal visit but just 2 000 will be allowed in due to coronavirus limits.

Asked if the backing of the sparse crowd could lift his players, Mourinho pointed out it would depend on which type of supporter was there.

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“If they want to enjoy the stadium and their passion for football, I don’t think it makes a big difference,” he said.

“If they want to go there and play, wear a Tottenham shirt and play the game, that can give a little more motivation and pleasure for us, yes.”

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