Jose Mourinho is facing a dressing room backlash after branding Tottenham players as “lazy.”
Tottenham defender Ben Davies insisted the defeat to Everton was not down to a lack of effort but admitted the performance was not good enough.
But other members of the squad have been left annoyed by Mourinho’s remarks and see it as a way of the Spurs boss deflecting blame from himself.
They think the criticism is unfair especially when Mourinho said himself that many of the players have not been able to train fully because of a disrupted pre-season or having to self-isolate because of the coronavirus.
Mourinho has a habit of turning the blame on his players but is risking upsetting the dressing room by questioning their work rate, intensity and also individual performances.
Davies said: “Look, it’s a tough one. I think everybody worked hard. Me personally, I gave it my all. I wouldn’t doubt that everybody else in the team gave it their all.
“But the performance wasn’t up to scratch. It’s hard to put it down to a lack of effort. I’m sure we will evaluate where we went wrong moving forward.”
It is a big week for Tottenham who face Lokomotiv Plovdiv in a Europa League play-off on Thursday before a trip to Southampton next Sunday.
Davies insisted that they must improve from the opening day defeat to Everton but promised there is time to turn things around and enjoy a good season.
He added: “We’ve worked hard in training and we’re convinced we can put in a much better performance than we did against Everton.
“We’ve been very staggered with boys coming back at different times and the international break coming the week before. But you have to deal with these things.