Jose Mourinho: Tottenham are better than Europa League level
Jose tells players: "Two more victories to win the Europa League." Watch Tottenham vs Leicester live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday from 3.30pm; kick-off 4pm
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 17/07/20 7:32pm
Jose Mourinho believes Europa League qualification is the minimum Tottenham deserve after battling through "difficult moments" this season but says "we are better than that".
Tottenham were 14th in the Premier League when Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November last year, but have climbed into the European places and have been particularly impressive since the campaign restarted last month.
Only Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have picked up more points since Mourinho's appointment, despite key injuries to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.
Spurs, who are currently seventh, are in a five-way battle for a Europa League spot and face Champions League hopefuls Leicester on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
"I think Spurs would be even better than that without all the problems that we had," Mourinho said. "No other team had even similar problems.
"In the most difficult moments of the season, I was speaking about just surviving to leave us in a position where we could eventually fight for that.
"The fact that we are fourth [in the form table] since my arrival, without [Hugo] Lloris, Harry Kane, [Moussa] Sissoko and Son, is a good reflection of the potential that we have and the work we are doing.
"The minimum we deserve is to finish in a position that keeps us in European football, a competition that is not our level, we are better than that.
"Football is not about what you deserve, it is about what you get. We need to win these two matches now."
Victory over Leicester and Crystal Palace on the final day will guarantee Tottenham at least a seventh-placed finish, which will qualify them for the Europa League so long as rivals Arsenal fail to win the FA Cup.
"In quite a funny way, I'm telling the players: Two more victories to win the Europa League," Mourinho said.
"I know it is not like that and the Europa League is a long competition and has some good teams, some from the Champions League, which makes it really difficult.
"It's just a feeling to try to motivate the boys because our level is Champions League.
"I'm just trying to motivate the troops. It's not possible that Sheffield United, Wolves or Arsenal have more motivation than us to get one of these spots.
"To play in the Europa League is good, you can rotate players and it's a fantastic experience for younger people who for them, Champions League comes too early."
Jose: United have been lucky
Victory over Leicester City on Sunday would help two of Mourinho's former clubs.
Leicester are in a three-way battle with Manchester United and Chelsea for two Champions League places with two games to go. They come up against Mourinho and Tottenham this weekend before a vital showdown with United on the final day of the season.
Mourinho says that has not come into his thinking as he prepares to face Leicester.
He said: "I'm not looking to that fight. I don't know mathematically what is possible for them. They (Leicester and Manchester United) play the last game, I don't know if things can be decided there.
"If United do it, they will do it by playing very well in the second part of the season. When you play well, you deserve.
"On top of that, everyone knows they were a bit lucky, more than one time. Luck that others didn't have. That luck."