Jose Mourinho: Tanguy Ndombele did not want to play in Tottenham's win over Brighton
Spurs produce second-half comeback to secure Boxing Day victory over Brighton; Mourinho provides cryptic update on Christian Eriksen's future and salutes phenomenal Harry Kane
Last Updated: 27/12/19 10:03am
Jose Mourinho revealed record signing Tanguy Ndombele did not want to be selected in Tottenham's Boxing Day win over Brighton.
The France international, who has recovered from a recent groin injury, was a surprise omission as Spurs came from behind to produce a spirited second-half comeback to register a 2-1 victory.
Ndombele's omission was the talk of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ahead of kick-off but Mourinho moved to clear up the speculation after the game.
"I cannot say that he is injured because in five minutes we start a training session that you could watch from the stands and he will be training normally," the Portuguese told his post-match press conference.
"So I cannot say he is injured. I can say that yesterday he told me he was not feeling in condition to play the game, not based on injury but on fears of previous injuries that he has had since the start of the season, two, three or four muscular injuries and the feeling of not being ready to start the game.
"But I cannot say that he is injured, I can only say he is not in condition which is a different thing."
Jose: I know Eriksen's future
Mourinho refused to shed light on Christian Eriksen's future at Tottenham but insists he knows what the midfielder's decision will be.
The Denmark international, who is out of contract at the end of the season, initiated the move that led to Spurs' winning goal, switching play with a brilliant cross-field pass that was cushioned into the path of scorer Dele Alli.
Quizzed on Eriksen's future in his post-match press conference, Mourinho said: "About his future, I know his future. I think I know his future because his communication with me is completely open and honest and we trust each other.
"The only thing I can tell you is that I know his future, but I am not the one to speak about his future, it has to be him to speak about his future when he makes the decision to speak about it, not me.
"My feeling is that he wants to help us, which is why when I am in trouble and need a player with his qualities, I play him.
"Today he was important. Harry had a yellow card, we needed freshness, we needed vision and fast passing, and he was there for us."
Jose salutes 'phenomenal' Kane
Mourinho saluted Harry Kane after his "phenomenal" performance guided Spurs back on the winning path.
Four days on from their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea, Spurs were starring another setback at home in the face after Adam Webster had headed Brighton into a deserved half-time lead.
But captain Kane led the Spurs revival, rifling the equaliser home with seven minutes of the restart with the 100th home goal of his club career before Alli's sumptuous winner.
"When I was not his coach, I was always saying Kane is the kind of striker that is fantastic even if he doesn't score," Mourinho added.
"There are so many top strikers in the world that score so many goals, but the day they don't score their performance is poor because they give nothing.
"Harry is the guy that if he doesn't score his performance is good; he presses, he recovers balls, he holds up play, he assists, he drops back, when Dele loses position, he covers the position in the defensive organisation.
"He is fantastic. He scored two great goals, the first correctly ruled out by VAR, but the action and movement were brilliant. The second strike was brilliant, the goal was fantastic and important. His work was absolutely phenomenal.
"It's a little bit like Dele. Since I arrived, Dele has scored four goals in the Premier League, one in the Champions League.
"But I don't go in that direction, I look at Dele being exhausted from his work. I love players that finish the match exhausted, that's what these guys are doing. Moussa Sissoko, incredible. I am very happy with the guys."