Mourinho explains Eriksen's exclusion against West Ham

Christian Eriksen failed to earn a recall to the Tottenham line-up for Jose Mourinho's first match in charge, and the coach explained why.

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen has been linked with a move away to Manchester United.   -  Getty Images

Jose Mourinho explained his decision to leave Christian Eriksen out of his first Tottenham starting line-up by saying he needs to understand what is in the midfielder's mind.

Speculation linking Eriksen with a move away from Tottenham has been mounting over the course of a tumultuous season for both player and club, especially as his contract expires in June 2020.

Rumours of a dressing room fallout have seen Eriksen earmarked as a potential January transfer target for Manchester United and Mourinho named the Denmark international as a substitute for his first game in charge of Spurs, away at West Ham.

Eriksen was an unused substitute for Tottenham's previous game, a 1-1 draw at home with Sheffield United, but Mourinho told BT Sport the decision to bench him was "not just about continuity".

"Of course the match today is very important but our future is also very important," said Mourinho.

"I need to understand really what is in Christian's mind or heart and we have to make the right decision for the club."

Spurs faces Olympiacos and Bournemouth at home in its next two fixtures and Mourinho said he is looking forward to finding the best way to get his misfiring side back on form.

Prior to facing West Ham, Tottenham scored four goals in its previous five Premier League matches, and Mourinho said he would be looking to Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min, Dele Alli and Harry Kane to help turn the club's season around.

"I believe that Lucas and Son, Alli, Kane - they are players with a good understanding," said Mourinho.

"We are going to have to find a dynamic where they can hurt the opposition and see if we can do it because I like the ideas but I like to work the ideas.

"Today [against West Ham] is more about the ideas than to work them, so we'll see if we can find happiness."

  Dugout videos