Jose Mourinho said “my future choices are going to be very easy” after Tottenham’s surprise 1-0 Europa League Group J defeat by Royal Antwerp.
Mourinho made four changes at half-time after appearing to lose patience with some of his fringe players in Belgium.
Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn, Giovani lo Celso and Carlos Vinicius were all replaced at the break, although the changes did not salvage a point.
“I would like to have made 11 changes at half-time,” said Mourinho.
- Tottenham lose to Royal Antwerp in the Europa League
England midfielder Alli, 24, has started three matches this season and been replaced at half-time in two of them. This was the first time he had been in the starting XI for more than a month.
“I don’t want to analyse individuals. I don’t like to do that,” added Mourinho following his side’s first defeat since the opening weekend of the season.
“We have a big squad with lots of good players.
“It’s my responsibility to give them opportunities to play and catch the chance with both hands and be in condition to ask for more.
“And tonight my future choices are going to be very easy.”
Mourinho did not name-check Alli who, despite creating one chance for Vinicius, looked low on confidence, while Gareth Bale is yet to complete a full game since re-joining Spurs after being replaced by Harry Kane in the second half.
Spurs were looking to end October unbeaten after winning four and drawing one of their previous five games, scoring 20 goals in the process.
But they produced a lacklustre performance and failed to register a single attempt on target in the second period against Royal Antwerp, who finished fourth in Belgium’s top flight last season.
Mourinho posted a picture on social media of him sitting on the team coach after the game with the message: “Hope everyone in this bus is as upset as I am. Tomorrow 11am training.”
Speaking after the game, he added: “I prefer to praise the opponents because they played a magnificent game and not to blame ourselves because we played an awful game.
“But I have to do both at the same time.
“Blame me because I am the boss and it is my responsibility who plays.
“But I have to admit that the game confirmed to me a few things, opened other question marks and will help me in the future with my decisions.
“I’m also learning every day.”
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