North London derby will not decide 'big things', says Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur Jose Mourinho played down the significance of the upcoming North London derby match against Arsenal.

Jose Mourinho felt that the historic rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham is the most significant thing about the North London derby.   -  Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho says his first North London derby on Sunday is 'not a match that will decide big things' but knows the importance of bragging rights for fans.

With Tottenham in ninth place and Arsenal one place ahead, Mourinho said his side's focus will be on overtaking its historic rival.

“This moment we are both in a very similar situations,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday. “It's not that incredible emotion where we are fighting for something really big, more than just to finish above the other one.

“It's missing that, it's not a match that will decide big things, but probably decides the only thing we can fight for.

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“Both of us, realistically, are not fighting forx a Champions League position. But it's a big match for the table, and on top of that there is a rivalry.

“Clubs are made by and for the fans and the fans have a special feeling for this match and so the people on the pitch have to fight.”

Arsenal has been more impressive than Tottenham since the restart, especially in an attacking sense. Tottenham has kept three clean sheets in its last four games, but has managed only five goals in five games, compared to Arsenal's 10.

“To defend better, to concede less, to keep some clean sheets is obviously important for the team but we want to be attacking minded,” Mourinho said.

“We arrive in very dangerous positions, many times in crossing positions, we have good percentages of ball possession, spend the majority of the time in the opponents half, but no sharpness, no objective, always one more touch, not clear aggressive, sharp, killer decisions to go direct to goal.”

Mourinho said Dele Alli would miss Sunday's game as he is still struggling with a hamstring injury while defender Eric Dier is suspended.

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