Mourinho not fussed about five subs but wants bigger matchday squad


ottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he is indifferent about a possible return to five substitutes in the Premier League but reiterated his backing for bigger match-day squads.

A majority of top-flight managers – 15 of the 20 – backed the reintroduction of five subs at a meeting this week, amid concerns over the number of injuries to players during the hectic schedule.

The measure was introduced across Europe after the restart but Premier League clubs have twice voted against its implementation this season, with smaller clubs believing it favours those with deeper squads.

EFL clubs have voted in favour of the rule-change, which will be implemented in the Championship and Leagues One and Two from Friday.

If 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs back their managers, the measure could still be introduced at the halfway point of the campaign.

Asked his view, Mourinho said: “What I think, I don’t think is important.

“For a long time, it is difficult to understand why we travel with 20-21 players and then two or three of them have to stay out.

“I would say that we all – managers in every level and division – would love to have more players involved. Also for the question of being a leader of a group of a squad, we would all love to go in the direction of all the other countries where instead of seven players on the bench you can have nine or 10. “That’d be great for everybody.

“[On] the number of substitutions, I understand different perspectives.

“I’m OK with three, I’m OK with five. In the majority of times, I use three. If I have the possibility to make four or five, it would be better. Yeah, it would be better. But that doesn’t mean I would use the fourth or the fifth.

Harry Kane revelling in life under Jose Mourinho

“Some clubs think the powerful squads have an advantage to make five substitutions, but sometimes the powerful squads don’t make even two, they make only one. So there’s space for different opinions. I’m OK with any decision.”

Mourinho was speaking on the one-year anniversary of his appointment at Tottenham and ahead of Saturday’s crunch League game against Man City.

He insisted his Spurs side are now far better than when they beat City 2-0 at home in February in one of the landmark results of his first year.

“We are a better team. And City too,” he said. “City did roughly £150m market, it’s one more year of Pep, one more year of these players working with a fantastic coach.  

“We’re a better team, we are more confident, a different identity.  

“When we played them last season we were just trying to survive, get the points to take us in a direction to allow us to finish top four or six to give us something. This season we’re a different profile of team. We’re just different. We’re a better team with more solutions.  

“If I’m not wrong, against City we played Sonny striker or Lucas, Harry Kane was not there. I think we played Japhet Tanganga left-back, we didn’t have a left-back to play. Tomorrow we have Ben Davies or Reguilon, we can choose between one or another. We’re in a better position but nothing changed. They clearly want to be champions, that’s what they want for the past ten years. We want to win the next match and that is tomorrow.”

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League.

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