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Mourinho on Irish teen Parrott: 'He is a good kid we want to help, not only on the pitch but off it'

The 18-year-old Dubliner came off the bench in the final minutes for Tottenham’s clash with Wolves.

Jose Mourinho says Spurs must be protective of Irish teenager Troy Parrott.
Jose Mourinho says Spurs must be protective of Irish teenager Troy Parrott.
Image: Jonathan Brady

Updated at 20.38

JOSE MOURINHO has reiterated previous comments that Troy Parrott is not ready for regular first-team action, despite using him off the bench in the dying moments of today’s Tottenham-Wolves match.

The Ireland international appeared in second-half stoppage time for his second Premier League match of the season, but could not make a significant impact in the limited time on the field.

The 18-year-old Dubliner has struggled to feature, despite two of Tottenham’s main attackers, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min being out with long-term injuries.

“He is not ready. He is not ready,” Mourinho told reporters.

“He’s a good kid, a good talent, he’s a kid we want to help. He’s a kid who needs help, not just on the pitch but off it. He’s a kid we’re going to take care of like we have since the beginning. And he’s a kid who is obviously going to have a real opportunity in the right moment when we feel it is the moment.

“Why was he on the bench? He was on the bench because Lamela told me before the game he was not even ready to go on the bench.

So in that moment, without Lamela, we brought Troy in and in the last five minutes we put on a striker who at least knows the position so he could try to fix Coady and at least try to give some more space and freedom to Dele. That’s the way it is.”

Mourinho also claimed Tottenham paid the price for being “too nice” as Wolves came from behind to clinch a crucial 3-2 win in the race to qualify for the Champions League on Sunday.

Mourinho’s side led twice in north London thanks to goals from Steven Bergwijn and Serge Aurier.

But Matt Doherty got Wolves’ first before second half goals from Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez overturned a 2-1 deficit in the second half.

It was a bitter blow for injury-hit Tottenham, who suffered three consecutive defeats in all competitions for the first time this season.

Wolves moved two points above Tottenham into sixth place in the Premier League and Mourinho fears his team’s hopes of Champions League qualification will be ruined unless they develop a more ruthless streak.

“It was a totally unfair result. But it is difficult to stop Wolves if you don’t have the mentality that they showed,” Mourinho said.

In the first and last minutes they had fouls to stop the counter-attack. Wolves had the correct mentality. 

“We were punished for quite a long time because we don’t have that aggression. We are too nice. That is the only thing that made the difference in the game.

“I cannot complain about their spirit, I can complain about some psychological characteristics that are very difficult to change.”

Injuries to Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko and now goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who missed the Wolves game with a groin injury, have badly hampered Tottenham in recent weeks.

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But, asked if the injuries had taken a toll, Mourinho said: “It would be too easy for me to say that. I try to forget the players that we are missing.

“It is frustration, not just for me but for the players. We recovered 11 points distance to fourth, then when we got to one point everything changed for us, but we have to keep fighting like we did today.”

On France keeper Lloris, Mourinho added: “It’s hard to say when he is going to be back. Is it a big problem? I don’t think it is but he was not ready to play today. We have to wait.”

- ‘Amazing energy’ -

As it stands, finishing fifth could lead to a Champions League place, owing to second placed Manchester City’s European ban, against which they are appealing.

Sitting level on points with fifth placed Manchester United and just three behind fourth placed Chelsea, Wolves are firmly in the hunt for an unexpected berth in Europe’s elite club competition.

Wolves have coped with a gruelling schedule that began back in July with their Europa League qualifiers and were good value for their vital win over Tottenham.

Nuno Espirito Santo said his players’ team spirit was the key to their fightback, with their never-say-die attitude driving Wolves’ success since they returned to the top-flight in 2018.

“We had good movements that achieved beautiful goals. We finished strongly. It was a good performance,” Nuno said.

“We have been able to come back many times since last season. We are relentless, we believe the game is still to be played.

“There is a good team spirit, the boys help each other in every aspect. That is something we must keep building.

“It’s amazing the energy levels we put in. We embraced the challenge in July to compete in every game. It doesn’t matter if it is 46, 47 or 48 games.”

At the third attempt, Nuno was able to celebrate a first victory over Mourinho, who was his manager when the Wolves boss was Porto’s reserve keeper during their 2004 Champions League winning campaign.

“It’s nothing special. I have huge admiration for Jose Mourinho, for me he is a reference,” Nuno said.

Additional reporting by AFP

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Paul Fennessy

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