Moussa Sissoko believes that José Mourinho is turning Tottenham into winners. The midfielder scored in Tuesday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup semi-final victory over Brentford and, like everybody at the club, is determined to bring home a first trophy since 2008.
When the chairman, Daniel Levy, hired Mourinho in November 2019, it was to build on the work of Mauricio Pochettino and take the final step to silverware. There is at least one notable difference between the managers. Whereas Pochettino made it clear that the domestic cups were some way behind the Premier League and Champions League in terms of priorities, Mourinho is obsessed by chasing everything with equal rigour.
Mourinho has a special affection for the League Cup, having won it four times – the same number as Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson. No manager has won it more and Mourinho knows how success in the competition can harden the mentality of a squad. Sissoko says that Spurs must finish what they have started and win the final on 25 April.
“Is José making us winners? Yeah, we can say that,” Sissoko said. “We know what type of manager José is and what he did in the past. I think the chairman brought him here to win trophies and he’s tried to bring that mentality to the team. I will not say we didn’t have it before with the old manager but the team is working a lot on it and he pushes hard every day on it. Now it’s good that we reach the final and now we have to win it.
“It’s time to win a trophy. For many years we missed that kind of opportunity and now we want to take it. We are still in the race for the league, we’ve got the other cup to play, the Europa League as well, and so there’s plenty of things to do with the team this season. Let’s believe in ourselves, let’s keep fighting and let’s try to win every game and see what we can do.”
Sissoko’s goal against Brentford was his first since December 2019. “I would like to score more goals and make more assists but it depends on the system we are going to play,” he said. “Against Brentford, I was playing as a No 6 without the ball but with the ball, I was higher – another No 8 with Tanguy [Ndombele].
“That’s why I could be in front and make that run when [Sergio] Reguilón crossed for me and I scored. It’s easier to score when I get in the box than when I play as a No 6.”