Jose Mourinho apologised to Eric Dier after substituting the Tottenham midfielder after just 28 minutes against Olympiakos.
Jose Mourinho says it hurt him to take off Eric Dier after 28 minutes against Olympiakos, with the Special One apologising to the Tottenham midfielder.
The Tottenham boss hauled off England international Dier just before the half hour mark with Spurs 2-0 down.
Tottenham got off to a nightmare start in their Champions League clash, with Youssef El-Arabi scoring after just six minutes.
Ruben Semedo then doubled Olympiakos’ lead after 19 minutes – and Mourinho had seen enough.
Mourinho told Christian Eriksen to warm up and substituted Dier after just 28 minutes.
The Portuguese’s decision was proved correct as Tottenham ended up winning 4-2 in north London on Tuesday night thanks to a Harry Kane brace and strikes from Dele Alli and Serge Aurier.
However, despite Tottenham’s win and profession into the last 16 of the Champions League, Mourinho says his decision to haul off Dier hurt him.
“The first thing that was the most difficult moment for me was not the goals but the change I had to make,” he said.
“It hurt the player but also hurt me.
“It’s important the player understood and I was fortunate that it was a very intelligent boy who understood it was about the team not the performance.
“I felt another creative midfielder in that open triangle was needed rather than the closed triangle with Eric.
“I apologised to Eric and made it clear I didn’t do it to hurt him. Christian gave us what we needed at that time.”
Tottenham went in at half time 2-1 down after Alli scored just before the break.
Mourinho is well know for his man-management and the Special One opened up on his team talk at half time.
The former Manchester United and Chelsea boss simply told his players to believe in themselves and the goals would come.
“We have qualified for the next round, that is the important thing for all of us at the club and the fans,” he added.
“It was hard, they are a good team, very well organised and they attacked our self esteem and self confidence.
“I did not expert our boys to feel this pressure at home and they have not had the best results in the last few months.
“It was a tough time, more than the changes or the tactical talk, I told them to keep calm, keep confident and believe in ourselves.”
Tottenham return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon against Bournemouth (3pm kick off).
Source: Express Sports