Jose Mourinho is convinced he can turn around a wretched run of Tottenham form and save his job as Spurs manager.
A damaging 2-1 loss at London rivals West Ham on Sunday represented a fifth defeat in six Premier League games.
Mourinho has never endured such a poor six-game sequence during his decorated career and Spurs are now ninth in the table having looked like title contenders earlier in the campaign.
The home Europa League last-32 second leg against Wolfsberger on Wednesday – a tie Spurs lead 4-1 – is likely to offer some brief respite to Mourinho.
But with suggestions the club are eyeing up RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann as a replacement if Spurs do not improve rapidly, Mourinho knows the pressure is on.
“I am not happy, but maturity helps, and I am feeling very confident,” Mourinho told reporters on Tuesday.
“I believe that we will win through and that I will be in Tottenham’s history through good reasons rather than bad.
“Thank God I’m not the manager I was. We all evolve. Sometimes [in the past] I had problems, not in terms of results as I didn’t have many bad results, but day-to-day problems.
“I reacted in a much more emotional way. Instead of helping myself, I was creating more conflicts. As an example, I left Chelsea as a champion.
“Maybe your experience as a journalist tells you that people with more experience can deal with negative things better. We are calm.”
81 – José Mourinho has earned 81 points after 50 league matches in charge of Spurs, his lowest total at this stage in any managerial stint:
124 points – Porto
126 – Chelsea (1st spell)
113 – Inter
123 – Real Madrid
114 – Chelsea (2nd spell)
95 – Man Utd
81 – Spurs
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 21, 2021
The West Ham match was Mourinho’s 50th Premier League outing in charge of Tottenham, with those games yielding 23 wins, 12 draws and 15 defeats.
Those 81 points overall are 14 fewer than Mourinho has amassed during his first 50 league games with any other club over the course of his career.
Mourinho added: “You say I’m not used to this, which is a positive in the negative, but I want to know which coach has always had blue sky and never cloudy or a bit dark.
“Perhaps only a coach who is always at a dominant club in a league. It shows how beautiful my career has been.
“Does it make me depressed? No. It’s a challenge. I work for the club, the players and the supporters. I always feel I have to give them so much.
“It hurts me and it’s a great challenge for me and I believe I can give it. I give it everywhere I’ve been and I’m more motivated than ever.”
“When you are in a bad run of results, you need victories. I believe that everyone in the dressing room doesn’t just want to qualify, but to win.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 23, 2021
Mourinho was also asked about his relationship with chairman Daniel Levy amid the dreadful run.
He added: “My relationship is the same since day one, which is one of respect and open communication. We respect each other.
“What I feel to Mr Levy is what I feel in every club I’ve worked in. I want to give happiness to everyone, the chairman, the players, the fans, everybody connected to the club.
“I feel one of them and I want to give happiness to them. I don’t change.
“I never felt lonely in this building. I feel not only respected but supported. Everybody in the same boat.
“I feel positive. Maybe that is a bit weird for you after losing so many matches but I’m positive. Nobody is happy, nobody is depressed, and everybody feels we are going to do better.
“I’m not happy but I wake up wanting to come here. Everybody is loving training and working hard with so many matches.”
After the continental clash, games against Burnley, Crystal Palace and Fulham represent crucial opportunities for Spurs and Mourinho to reverse course.