Jose Mourinho: Tottenham need better home form to challenge for Premier League top spot

Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham need to improve their home form if they are going to challenge for the Premier League title.

Spurs, who are currently seventh in the table and without a home league win this season, face Brighton on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

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A 1-0 opening-day defeat to Everton was followed by a controversial last-gasp VAR decision that prevented victory over Newcastle, before poor defending played a part in Spurs squandering a 3-0 lead over West Ham to eventually draw 3-3.

With different results against Newcastle and West Ham, Tottenham could have been top of the table going into their clash with Brighton, but they could close the gap on league frontrunners Liverpool with a win against Graham Potter’s side.

“We are magnificent away from home [in the league]”, Mourinho tells Sky Sports News.

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“But at home we have lost too many points, and with these points, we would be there [Premier League leaders].”

Conversely, Mourinho has hailed Tottenham’s away form in the top-flight, with his side having scored 12 goals in three wins.

Their 5-2 victory over Southampton in September and six goals at Old Trafford on October 4 delighted Mourinho, but the battling 1-0 win at Turf Moor last time out gave him just as much pleasure.

“It’s the same satisfaction. I prefer to win the three points [by] playing very well. But what is playing very well?”, he added.

“It can be incredible, attacking, fluent, exciting football or it can also be the kind of football that we had to play against Burnley and that gave me great satisfaction because it’s the kind of match with all the ingredients for a team to lose points.

“You have to adapt. So at the end of the match, we were very happy.”

Mourinho’s stance on Tottenham’s title ambitions also seems to have softened just a little.

After Monday’s win at Turf Moor he said ‘I will never consider us title contenders’, but, ahead of Tottenham’s next encounter, that changed to: “Anything can happen in the Premier League.”

He says the target is to play as well against Brighton, as Tottenham did for 80 minutes against West Ham, without what he describes as “the pain” of throwing away a comfortable lead.

Mourinho was feeling pain of a different kind the last time Brighton came to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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That was Boxing Day 2019, and although Tottenham won, it was a tearful day for Mourinho and his family, as Leya the Yorkshire terrier passed away aged 12.

“Over Christmas, we lost one of our dogs,” Jose recalled.

“We miss her every day. In this country, you understand that better than anyone. England understands what a dog means to a family. But step by step we have adapted to it. That game was so difficult, but we managed to win.”

Eleven months on, Mourinho expects an even tougher test against the Seagulls.

“Brighton have a better team than they did,” he said, “They play even better than they did and this is the reality of the Premier League.

“When I arrived 16 years ago we had lots of difficult matches but we also had a few fixtures where you knew three points were guaranteed. Almost two decades later it has changed so much. There are now no cheap points.”

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