JOSE MOURINHO believes the hurt Tottenham felt at squandering a three-goal lead against West Ham has changed their mentality.
Spurs are second in the Premier League, having briefly gone top after Harry Kane’s superb late header — his 150th goal in the competition — gave them a 1-0 victory at West Brom on Sunday.
A third hard-fought victory in a row has come in stark contrast to their free-scoring performances earlier in the season, which included a 6-1 win at Manchester United.
However, boss Mourinho believes the failure to beat the Hammers — conceding three goals in the last eight minutes having led 3-0 after 16 minutes — was an important turning point.
‘I said that we were speaking a lot about it and working a lot about that situation,’ said Mourinho of that chastening experiaence.
‘I am not going to say we are not going to lose matches or lose points in the last minutes, it can happen to anyone. We felt the pain against West Ham and since then strategically the team is behaving in a different way.’
Spurs edged past Burnley 1-0 and Brighton 2-1 before their victory over the Baggies and Mourinho added: ‘The two clean sheets at Burnley and at West Brom showed the lesson — a team in the last five minutes that was very solid.
‘It looked like the pain made a positive effort and the team improved after that.
‘The reality is that the players understand the need of being a team in every moment of every game. This game has some similarities to the one at Burnley where the clean sheet kept us in the running for the three points.
‘Then when you score a goal it’s time to be compact and fight for that victory. So important for us because we are compensating away for the points we lost at home earlier in the season.’
Tottenham defeat gives Gallagher reason to believe
WEST Brom midfielder Conor Gallagher says his struggling side have to take confidence from their performance against Tottenham. ‘I felt like we deserved more,’ he said in the wake of Sunday’s 1-0 defeat. ‘We’re gutted because we played well. So to concede right at the end was horrible but also we’re happy with the performance. Spurs are a top team so for them to come here and us to play as well as we did is great. I feel like we could have got more from the game. The boys can take a lot from that and into our next fixtures.’