Jose Mourinho says Tottenham must adapt to empty stadiums
Watch Tottenham vs Manchester United live on Sky Sports Premier League on June 19; kick-off is at 8.15pm
Last Updated: 13/06/20 6:36pm
Jose Mourinho has emphasised the importance of his Tottenham players getting used to empty stadiums as they prepare to resume their Premier League campaign against Manchester United on Friday Night Football.
Spurs lost 2-1 to Norwich in a friendly at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday as they got a feel for playing without the backing of their fans, with the match divided into four periods of 30 minutes to give more players the chance to get some meaningful time on the pitch.
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"It was a good training session," Mourinho told the club's website. "We needed minutes, we needed to know the feeling of playing here without our supporters and to have this training session with another Premier League team is the best thing.
"We have to adapt to this new reality, which is what we tried to do, to have a feeling of playing with an empty stadium.
"The points are there to fight for, and with or without fans, the points are there on the pitch and ourselves and United will have to fight for them."
Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, Heung-Min Son and Steven Bergwijn were all involved, having recovered from injuries during the shutdown.
"We decided to mix them and to give almost the same amount of minutes to everyone," Mourinho said. "We didn't want any players to be into the limits of fatigue and of course nobody played the four periods…
"What we work on tactically we do in the training ground but the match was much more about competing, getting minutes, intensity and it's very important to do it and to have this last week without any injuries.
"We all know that in these first matches, and in the friendlies, there's also the risk of getting some injuries."
Tottenham - on the back foot when football was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic - have a huge amount of work to do to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Spurs are eighth in the table, seven points behind fourth-placed rivals Chelsea, and four behind Manchester United in fifth place, which is also set to be a Champions League slot given Manchester City's current ban, pending the outcome of their appeal.
On the face of it, their nine-game run in looks less daunting than it might, with only Manchester United - their first game live on Sky Sports behind closed doors on June 19 - and arch-rivals Arsenal their traditional top opponents remaining.
But they also face Champions League-chasing Leicester, Sheffield United, who are deservedly in the hunt for Europe, and two sides battling against relegation in Bournemouth and another local rival in West Ham.
- 64 live games on Sky Sports from provisional restart date of June 17
- 25 games to be made freely available
- New Sky Sports digital innovations also planned to enhance fan experience
The Premier League 2019/20 season will provisionally restart on Wednesday June 17 and Sky, the UK's leading football broadcaster, will make 25 games available 'free to air' - including Everton vs Liverpool on the first full weekend back - for everyone in the UK to enjoy.
Sky Sports will show 64 live Premier League games when the season resumes. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches will be available on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky's free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.
To celebrate the return of the Premier League, Sky Sports will also launch a host of innovative new features and updates to give fans an even more immersive experience and share the moments live with family and friends on virtual platforms.