New year, same old Spurs problems as Kane injury compounds Southampton defeat
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho does not believe the solutions to Spurs’ problems will be found in the January transfer window despite another disappointing display in a 1-0 defeat at Southampton that also saw Harry Kane hobble off injured.
Danny Ings produced the one real moment of quality in the game by lifting the ball over Toby Alderweireld before firing home his ninth goal in as many Premier League starts to lift the Saints up to 11th, six points clear of the relegation zone.
Spurs have now gone a full calendar year without keeping a clean sheet at home and just one win from four games over the festive period leaves Mourinho’s men still six points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.
“We see the bad result today which is the continuity of the last year. For 12 months, it has been very difficult to get results away from home,” said Mourinho.
“It is difficult. The work is not about buying, it is about working with the players on the pitch. It is something that is very difficult for us because we have no time to do it.”
Mourinho’s options could be further hampered by injuries in the coming weeks as Kane was forced off with a hamstring problem after scoring a goal that was ruled out for offside.
On top of this the club record signing Tanguy Ndombele’s injury-ravaged first season in England continued as he had to be replaced before half-time.
“Hamstring is always negative,” added Mourinho on how long Kane could be sidelined. “Is it a tear, is it a small thing, is it a contraction? At this moment I cannot say.”
Ings’s goals have shot Southampton out of the bottom three in recent weeks and he was Saints’ match winner again as he raced onto Jack Stephens’s long ball, coolly flicked the ball over the head of Alderweireld before slotting his 15th goal of the season past the helpless Paulo Gazzaniga.
Victory rounded off a brilliant festive programme for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men, who took 10 points from a possible 12, including a win at Chelsea on Boxing Day.
“The last few weeks I feel we have come a long way,” said Ings. “To start the new year with a win like this is incredible.”
Southampton could have been more resounding winners as only a last-ditch block from Alderweireld prevented Nathan Redmond turning in Stuart Armstrong’s dangerous cross before the Belgian defender was lucky to escape without conceding a penalty for handling inside his own box.
Tottenham’s afternoon went from bad to worse when Kane pulled up as he slotted home Christian Eriksen’s free-kick 15 minutes from time, but was flagged offside.
The visitors ended the game in search of an equaliser without a recognised striker on the pitch with Son Heung-min also absent due to suspension.
And Mourinho’s frustration boiled over as he was shown a yellow card after he spied on a Southampton coach’s notes, sparking an altercation with home bench.
“The yellow card was fair, because I was rude. But I was rude to an idiot,” said Mourinho in characteristically provocative fashion.