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Mourinho: Confidence, ‘not having players to change things’ hurt Tottenham

Tottenham paid the price for a turgid opening half, as they left their rally too little, too late against Chelsea and succumbed to their third straight loss.

Jose Mourinho knows that injuries in attack have been a big part of the problem for Tottenham in its recent struggles, the latest example a 1-0 home loss to Chelsea on Thursday.

Without Harry Kane and several others, Spurs showed few signs of scoring until the 70th minute as Chelsea controlled the ball and fouled Heung-min Son as a principle.

But Mourinho wants you to know that Spurs’ attack is also hurt by the absences of playmaker Giovani Lo Celso, marauding fullback Sergio Reguilon, and out-of-sorts Dele Alli.

[ MORE: Three things from Spurs 0-1 Chelsea ]

And Gareth Bale? We’ll get to that later.

“Reguilon means something for our attacking football,” Mourinho said, via Football.London. “Harry Kane means something to our attacking football. Giovani Lo Celso means something and a good Dele Alli that we haven’t had yet also means something to that. It also is about not having the players to change things. It’s also about the confidence.”

Mourinho wouldn’t say why he didn’t deploy Gareth Bale, saying it was “a good question but you don’t deserve the answer.” Our guess is that he meant he cannot say what’s wrong with Bale, who has struggled mightily in his return to Spurs, but it is obviously open to interpretation.

Later, in his presser with multiple media members, he shed a modicum of light on the situation, “I’m doing my best. He’s doing his best. Everybody is doing their best.”

[ MORE: Tuchel, Jorginho, Mount react to Chelsea win ]

It’s not good enough right now, even if at times it’s understandable. And Mourinho issued a curious answer when quizzed about the season’s goals. Apparently, he has them, they’ll get there, but he won’t tell you what they are until then.

Sounds like me when my mom asked how my college grades were looking at any point of any semester.

“The table in the end of the last match will tell the truth,” Mourinho said. “It’s always the same story. In December it can be one way. In March it can be one way, and I believe we can be where we have to be. We are in the cup final and it’s a pity that we cannot play it now, though it’s not a pity because we have injured players, okay, okay.”

The man needs a rest. He’ll have to settle for Big Sam’s West Brom at home on Sunday. If Spurs can’t score on them, perhaps they should call it a season.

Follow @NicholasMendola