Jose Mourinho questions Tottenham 'selfishness' after vital win at Aston Villa

Jose Mourinho once again questioned the commitment of some of his Tottenham stars as he warned that victory at Aston Villa would not ‘heal the scar’ of their disastrous loss to Dinamo Zagreb.

Carlos Vinicius’ first Premier League goal and Harry Kane’s second-half penalty justified Mourinho’s decision to field a much-changed Spurs side but the win – which took them to within three points of the top four – was not enough to improve his mood.

‘Thursday will be a scar for a long time,’ said the Portuguese, who found his position under increased scrutiny after the Europa League humiliation. ‘It is not going to heal just because we won.

‘The challenge is to have these human qualities [we showed at Villa] in every match. It was the win of a group that felt ashamed with what happened in the last week, and to be ashamed, I think, is a man’s reaction.

‘Don’t care, don’t’ give a s***, is not for men. To be ashamed is a man’s emotional reaction which they have and I’m very happy for them.

‘[Against Villa] we needed hungry people, fresh and positive feelings. I need people on the pitch who I know the match is really important to – Japhet Tanganga, Joe Rodon, this kind of positivity is something the team needed.

‘To play with this state of mind, this soul, should be a permanent thing, and that’s our next challenge – not to be reactive but to have always this attitude that dignifies our jobs and our club.

‘Football now is not easy in relation to [these things]. [Selfishness] is around, individual interests are around, agents are around. You need time to develop a feeling of team empathy in a group, because the psychological profile of younger people is not an easy one.

‘I want to be proud of my players regardless of the result. To develop the spirit we need [is more important than] where we finish in the table or the Carabao Cup Final. I cannot do it alone. I have to do it with my club, with my players. We must have this soul in every match.’

Mourinho said he had not heard captain Hugo Lloris’ remarkable interview after the Zagreb debacle, in which the Frenchman hinted at huge fault lines in the dressing room.

England skipper Kane admitted Spurs had been ‘embarrassed’ at their performances in the successive defeats to Arsenal and Dinamo – which had pushed them to show their grit here.

‘To lose the north London derby and then go out of the Europa League in that fashion was embarrassing for us as players,’ he said. ‘The only way we can give back to the club and fans is to show what we’re made of and we did that.

‘The last couple of games were not good enough in all areas. We didn’t want to go into the international break with a draw or a defeat. We knew we needed to win.

‘The attitude was different. In the last couple of games we dropped below our standards and it was nice to get that back – fighting, putting bodies on the line. That is what we will need now to get into the top four.

‘Before an international break it’s always important to end on a high. After the week we had, you never want a loss. But we dug deep and got the job done so we can go away a little bit happier.’

Villa boss Dean Smith admitted his players had failed to step up in the absence of captain Jack Grealish, who has missed the last six games with a shin problem and is due to return to action after the international break.

Smith’s side have won 50 per cent of the 22 games they played this season with Grealish in the side, but that ratio drops to 17 per cent for those he has missed.

‘They have got to step up and they know that,’ said Smith. ‘I’ve told them that we can’t wait for Jack to be back.

‘Everyone knows how good a player he is but this has been their opportunity and not too many have taken it. We lacked creativity and that showed today.’

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