Mourinho hails resilient Spurs, targets Europa League spot

Premier League - Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - July 15, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their second goal with Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Stu Forster

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho hailed his side’s resilience after Wednesday’s 3-1 Premier League victory over Newcastle United and said it was important they qualify for Europe next season.

Spurs, who were in action 72 hours after their 2-1 victory over London rivals Arsenal, are seventh on 55 points, a point behind Wolverhampton Wanderers in sixth, which is likely to offer the last Europa League spot for next season.

“The team was tired before we even started,” Mourinho told the BBC. “We had resilience and a great desire to win the match and to fight until the last for our objective, which is the Europa League.

“If we can’t get the Champions League, the Europa League is important.”

Mourinho also paid tribute to striker Harry Kane after he scored twice to move past 200 career club goals, and defender Serge Aurier, who was playing despite his brother being shot dead in France earlier this week.

“Harry Kane knows how important he is, he is incredible,” Mourinho added.

“Serge Aurier is a very strong character, every person is different and in his case he wanted to play.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford