Jose Mourinho says Tottenham's season only gets tougher after securing Europa League progress

Tottenham beat Antwerp on Thursday night to secure top spot in their Europa League group; Jose Mourinho's side now face a run of seven matches in 21 days; watch Crystal Palace vs Tottenham on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 2pm

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Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says being named Premier League Manager of the Month for November is an award for the team and coaching staff

Jose Mourinho has warned Tottenham's season will only get tougher now they have completed the Europa League group stage, and admits he will have to rotate his team as Spurs look to continue their title charge.

Mourinho's side secured top spot in Group J on Thursday night with a 2-0 victory over Antwerp and can now put the Europa League to the back of their minds, with the knockout rounds not beginning until the middle of February.

But Spurs - who top the Premier League on goal difference after 11 matches - have no time to relax and now face a gruelling run of seven games in 21 days, including fixtures against Liverpool and Leicester.

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"The Europa League is over now for a couple of months, but now is an accumulation of matches in the Premier League that, to be honest, are more difficult than the Europa League matches," said Mourinho.

Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho (C) reacts with Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso (L) and Tottenham Hotspur's Dutch midfielder Steven Bergwijn
Image: Spurs saw off Antwerp 2-0 and will learn who they will face in the last-32 of the Europa League on Monday
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"The quality of teams is higher in the Premier League. We have also a [Carabao Cup] quarter-final to play against Stoke, and Stoke is doing so, so well in the Championship.

"With so many matches, do we need to make rotations? Of course - it is impossible for a player to play all these matches with a short period of time.

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"But at the same time there are players that are really, really unique, and with some unique players - in spite of the squad being very good - we have to try to give them more minutes because they can make a difference."

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Spurs' intense run of fixtures begins on Sunday at Crystal Palace - live on Sky Sports­ - and Mourinho says that, despite a lack of time to prepare, his side will know what to expect at Selhurst Park.

Tyrick Mitchell impressed in performances against Wolves and Tottenham
Image: Tottenham drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace on the final day of last season to secure a place in Europe

Speaking after victory over Antwerp on Thursday, he said: "To be honest, I didn't spend yet one single minute with Crystal Palace.

"Of course I know many things about them, and one of the things is the quality of [Wilfried] Zaha. But I do match by match.

"The players, the manager, the coaching staff is basically the same as previous seasons. We know them very, very well.

"They defend with lots of people and experience but they have quality in attack - organised attack, counter attack and set pieces. They are a team that can threaten in many different situations. The game is going to be globally difficult."

Mourinho named Manager of the Month

Mourinho has been named Premier League Manager of the Month after guiding Tottenham to three wins and a draw from their four games in November.

It is just the fourth time he has won the individual award and the first since winning it with Chelsea in 2007.

Tottenham started the month with a 2-1 win at home to Brighton on November 1 before beating West Brom 1-0 at the Hawthorns on November 8, courtesy of a late winner from captain Harry Kane.

Jose Mourinho embraces Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son at full-time
Image: Mourinho's side took 10 points from a possible 12 in the Premier League in November

Spurs extended their winning run with a 2-0 victory over Manchester City on November 21 before ending the month with a 0-0 draw against Mourinho's former club Chelsea on November 29.

That run helped Tottenham move to the top of the Premier League, where they remain ahead of Liverpool on goal difference after beating Arsenal 2-0 in the north London derby on December 6.

"For me it is not manager of the month - it is team of the month," said Mourinho, when presented with the award.

"I believe it is about us as a team, it's about the results that we had in November. It's not about me.

"If it was about me, it would have to be for the coaching staff because without the other guys, it wouldn't be possible.

"I don't feel it as an individual award - I always feel it belongs to the team, to the results that we did.

"If we didn't have three victories and one draw at Stamford Bridge in November, for sure we wouldn't have any chance to win it."

Spurs announce four-year deal for teenager White

Spurs announced on Friday that they had agreed a contract extension with 19-year-old midfielder Harvey White until 2024.

White, who worked his way through the ranks at Spurs' academy, made his competitive debut for the club in last month's 4-0 win over Ludogorets in the Europa League group stage.

Harvey White has extended his contract with Spurs
Image: Harvey White has extended his contract with Spurs

"I'm really happy," said White. "I feel like I've taken the next step in my career to sign this deal at Tottenham and I feel like there's definitely a pathway here with this manager and the players, who have all got a winning mentality. I want to be a part of it.

"This is my third pro deal. I'm still 19, so that tells me that the Club has got a lot of trust in me and that they can see a future in me. I just want to pay it back on the pitch.

"I'm gaining a lot of confidence but it also brings a lot of pressure as well now that I've signed a new deal, because I've got to go to the next stage with my football ability. It provides a lot of confidence but also a lot of pressure because, the Club is expecting more from me now."

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