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Jose Mourinho admits that he “lost his passion” while in charge of Manchester United

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has admitted that he lost his passion for management during his Manchester United tenure.

The Portuguese spent two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, winning the Europa League and the League Cup in his first season at the helm.

United were unable to kick on from that point, though, and Mourinho was sacked following a 3-1 defeat by rivals Liverpool last December.

The 56-year-old was appointed as the new Tottenham manager on Wednesday, less than 12 hours after the north London outfit parted ways with Mauricio Pochettino.

And Mourinho, speaking after Spurs’ 3-2 triumph over West Ham on Saturday, now concedes that he was unhappy towards the end of his spell in charge of United.

"I have to admit, yes [I lost my passion]. And when you are not happy people feel it," he told BT Sport. "That happiness that you can influence to be better and more enthusiastic yes, I have to admit it, yes."

Tottenham stormed into a 3-0 lead at the London Stadium but were left to hang on after West Ham hit back with two second-half goals.

And Mourinho praised the way his new team played, even if the margin of victory was not as comfortable as he would have liked.

“I was really happy for one hour. We were playing well, we were bringing things to the game that we trained a little bit. I was really happy, and we had the [chance for] 4-0 to kill the game.

“I think we are lucky that I have so many years of Premier League [experience] that I told the players at half-time, ‘Even if we score for 3-0, minute 85 the game will be open.’ And I think they understood that.”

Dele Alli was the star of the show against West Ham, with the England international attempting to recapture his best form after a disappointing 12 months.

And Mourinho believes Alli has the ability to be one of the leading players on the planet.

“I’m happy with everyone. But if you ask me if I’m happy with Dele: yes. I spent a few minutes with him in training and also in our social life, outside the pitch.

“The best Dele has to be back. He’s too good not to be in the national team; he’s too good not to be a fundamental player for Spurs; he’s too good not to be one of the best players in the world.

“So he has to develop, he has to start from now. Hopefully without injures, hopefully with some stability from a tactical point of view. He’s a fantastic player and today he showed it.”


Long read: The making of Jose Mourinho – how did he go from 'the translator' to 'the Special One’?

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