Jose Mourinho: 'I told them to keep calm, keep confident and believe'

Tom Homewood
Assistant Producer

Jose Mourinho says he told his Tottenham players at half-time to ‘to keep calm, keep confident and believe’ as they trailed Olympiakos 2-1 at the break during his first home game in charge of the club.

The London side scored three times in the second half to complete a remarkable comeback having been trailing 2-0 after just 20 minutes.

Mourinho substituted Eric Dier for Christian Eriksen in a bid to try and rescue the match eight minutes later.

A decision which proved to be decisive and match winning. One that Dier didn’t seem to be happy with at the time though.

READ MORE: Spurs complete dramatic comeback to reach knockout stages as Kane breaks Del Piero's record

"The first thing I want to say is to publicly what I did in the dressing room is to apologise to Eric Dier." Mourinho told BT Sport.

"It is never easy for a player but not for the coaching staff either. It was for the team and we needed a different solution.

"We were losing 2-0, they were closing really well and I needed a second man with Dele Alli to come into the pockets. It was between Dier and Harry Winks but a hard decision.

"Eric understands," he added. "But the reality it is never an easy (decision) and to make it clear, it was about the team not individuals. I thought about taking out one of the centre-backs and putting Eric in defence."

Dier wasn't happy coming off after only 28 minutes (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Dele Alli’s gift of a goal on the stroke of half-time gave Spurs hope heading into the interval just one goal behind,

They looked a completely different side after the break and Harry Kane pulled them level just five minutes after the restart.

Mourinho, who replaced the sacked Mauricio Pochettino last week, says he merely his players to relax and believe during his half-time team talk.

"We have qualified for the next round, that is the important thing for all of us at the club and the fans.

"It was hard, they are a good team, very well organised and they attacked our self esteem and self confidence.

"I did not expert our boys to feel this pressure at home and they have not had the best results in the last few months.

"It was a tough time, more than the changes or the tactical talk, I told them to keep calm, keep confident and believe in ourselves."

Mourinho congratulates Kane after the final whistle (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Captain Harry Kane was disappointed by the way they started the match, but brought Spurs level at 2-2 before going on to secure the win and all three points with their fourth.

A goal that also saw him become the fastest player to score 20 goals in Champions League history, beating Alessandro del Piero’s record in just 24 games.

"Not a bad player to beat." Kane told BT Sport. "It was about qualifying, no matter how we did it but we had to win and we did that. We can enjoy it and try and keep the momentum for Saturday."

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