Mourinho responds to claims Spurs should focus on FA Cup

Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham’s main priority is always the game ahead of them after they advanced to the next round of the FA Cup.

There has been some talk that the FA Cup could be the prime focus for Spurs now that they have fallen nine points adrift of the Champions League places, and by beating Middlesbrough 2-1 in a replay, they moved on to the fourth round of the competition.

Goals from Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela were enough to see them through, even if George Saville restored some hope for their Championship opponents late on.

It was a consolation goal that, although it did not change the outcome, Mourinho was worried to see.

“3-0 was so close so many times. I told my players at half time if we don’t score 3-0 then if 2-1 we would be in trouble and it happened,” he told BBC Sport.

“We knew the opponents were hard. They brought on Gestede and went direct and made problems and when it was 2-1 we knew it was going to be difficult.

“We tried our best, the boys are trying their best. They dealt well with many set piece situations.

“We did lots of things well, we conceded the goal, a bit frustrating, but more frustrating was that we did not score three, four or five.”

Asked whether the FA Cup was now Tottenham’s priority, Mourinho postponed any idea of them thinking about a run to Wembley.

“In this moment it is not the priority. The priority is to play a difficult match against Watford in the Premier League. When Southampton comes it will be the priority.”

One of Spurs’ more impressive performers was defender Japhet Tanganga, who completed 90 minutes for the second game in a row after making his Premier League debut against Liverpool at the weekend.

Mourinho vows that the 20-year-old has his trust for several reasons.

“I trust him. I know the way he can read the game and learn. He absorbs all the information.

“He is not that kind of modern kid who is worried with pathways, the pathways is to work hard and take the opportunity which he did. Now people know how good he is.”

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