The five key quotes from Jose Mourinho's post-West Brom press conference 

Tottenham Hotspur beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon thanks to a late header from Harry Kane.

The win lifted Spurs to the top of the Premier League table, albeit briefly, as they were later leapfrogged by Leicester City. Despite not staying at the top for long, the victory did continue their impressive run of being unbeaten since the opening day.

Manager Jose Mourinho spoke to the media after the game:

On what helped Spurs score the winning goal

It looked as if the deadlock wouldn’t be broken as the game approached full time but when Matt Doherty found Kane in the box, the England captain flicked the winner past Sam Johnstone.

Embed from Getty Images

Mourinho spoke of how he wanted his side to push and made a tactical change which he believed would help increase the chances of a goal.

He said: "Even being difficult, it was not a game where it had lots of chances, but a game where you start pushing, pushing, pushing and you feel the possible is coming.

“Then the moment arrived where I felt it’s time to bring Vinicius, to change the structure a little, to give them a different problem than they had until then. With Vinicius, Harry became a little more free and he got that space to score the winning goal."

On tough opponents West Brom

West Brom, who sit in 18th place, may have been considered as an easy game for Spurs, however, Slaven Bilic’s side performed very well and could have won the game themselves.

Embed from Getty Images

Mourinho recognised the hard work of the home side and gave credit to them after what was a very tight game that could have gone either way.

"It was one of those matches with all the ingredients to lose a couple of points,” he said. “Difficult opponents, they want to stop you, they analyse you, they see where you are strong, they try to close every possible door, and they did it.

"Apart from that, they also had strategy in relation to the time, in relation to the intensity - they tried everything, fought really hard, and the good thing was that we always tried.”

On whether the result would’ve been different at the start of his reign at Spurs

When Mourinho first joined the club, Spurs became a team that struggled to maintain leads and regularly found themselves giving up late goals.

However, over recent weeks this seems to have changed but the Tottenham boss believes that no matter what form you are in the game can always go either way.

“No, you never know how it’s going to go and what’s going to happen. Lloris only made one save but that save could be a goal and probably we lose,” Mourinho said.

“But the reality is that the players understand the needs of being a team in every moment of every game and this game has some similarities to the one at Burnley where the clean sheet kept us in the running for the three points and then when you scored a goal you have to be compact and fight for the victory. So it is important for us because we are compensating the points we lost at home earlier in the season.”

On whether Spurs can compete for the title

After the win put them to the top of the table, questions were raised as to whether Spurs would be able to challenge for the title.

Winning in this way is a common theme for a team that will be towards the top of the table but Mourinho was keen to play the idea down and discussed how hard it is to win the league in England.

He said: “When a team is a champion or plays for the title, there is always a direct relation to your direct opponents. I would say that this team could be champions in many European countries but in the Premier League, it is the most difficult one.

"As in the premier league you can have a good season, you have lots of points but in the end, you’ve got Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Man United, Leicester, Arsenal. So you can have a good season and not be champions.”

On Harry Kane reaching 150 Premier League goals

Kane’s goal helped him to reach this big milestone as he claimed his 13th goal of the season. The striker has been considered one of the best in the world for a few years now and Mourinho backs up this claim. However, he doesn’t believe it should be all about goals.

“When you go to stats in relation to the strikers, I always say that the stats should be how many goals the striker has scored and what he did for his team in the matches when he didn’t score,” Mourinho said.

“For many of the strikers, their history would be an incredible number of goals that they score plus zero. Harry Kane you have to say, this number of goals, this number of assists, this number of balls recovered, this number of duels won, this is Harry Kane. For me, it’s not about one more goal it’s about what he is as a player.”

VAVEL Logo