Jose Mourinho claimed his Tottenham players ignored his tactical instructions as he hit out at their lack of professionalism in the defeat by Dinamo Zagreb.
Spurs suffered their most crushing loss of the season at the hands of the Croatian club, who overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit to win 3-2 on aggregate after extra-time.
Mislav Orsic was Dinamo’s hero and scored all three goals to send his side through to the Europa League quarter-finals and end Tottenham’s campaign on the continent.
Spurs were outshot by their hosts and showed far less attacking intent – but Mourinho insists that was not how he set his side up.
“I believe that by surprise we were not caught,” said the Spurs boss in his honest assessment of the match.
“Before the game I told the players to play to win. Play the game to be dominant. Don’t go in the other direction. Even at 0-0 I said don’t do it.
“So by surprise they were not caught. Dinamo’s attitude was humble. Professionalism starts in the attitude.”
Has Jose Mourinho lost the Tottenham dressing room? Have your say in the comments.
Asked whether he is concerned his players are not taking in and applying his instructions, Mourinho responded: “Of course it concerns me.
“We worked very hard, we tried to provide the best conditions for the players to perform. Of course it concerns me.
“My position as a head coach is the position that makes me uncomfortable to come in front of the cameras and go deep in analysis. I hope you can understand that.
With the Cheltenham Festival only just around the corner, we are giving you the chance to sign up to our free updates ahead of one of the biggest weeks in racing.
Racing Digest will give you daily updates around all the big stories – including tips, offers, results and much more. To sign up, simply put your email into the box below, and we’ll do the rest. You’ll also receive plenty of tips and info outside of Cheltenham too… after all, the Grand National isn’t far away either.
So get signed up, join our club and get ready for the inside scoops on the greatest week in jumps racing.
“I believe all of us have to be humble enough to accept any criticism that you can make of our work. It is not for me to go on that.”
With Tottenham eliminated from the Europa League and FA Cup and eighth in the Premier League, their hopes of salvaging silverware from this season rely on causing an upset in next month’s Carabao Cup final versus holders Manchester City.
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.