Jos Mourinho Explains Jan Vertonghen's Reaction to Being Substituted Against Southampton

​Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho has admitted that defender Jan Vertonghen had every right to be frustrated with being substituted in Wednesday's 3-2 win over Southampton.

With Spurs fortunate to be drawing 1-1, Vertonghen was hauled off in the 54th minute to be replaced by Gedson Fernandes, and the Belgian was not best pleased as he left the pitch. He then sat on the bench and looked incredibly upset.

Jan Vertonghen

Speaking after the game (via ​foot​, Mourinho confirmed that the decision was purely tactical, but he felt as though it had to be done to give ​Spurs any chance of actually winning the game.

“No injury, it was my decision. It's normal that he's sad. No player likes to come out," the boss explained.

"I did that with [Eric] Dier against Olympiacos. Even worse because it was in the first half. In the second half I had a feeling in the first half that I needed to change to a back four. It was just a question of waiting for the right moment to bring on Dele [​A​lli], because Dele was a big question mark.

“So I had to manage this chess game without pieces. You know. No bishops, no kings, no queens. Very, very hard with so many injuries and problems. No [Steven] Bergwijn. It was very difficult so I had to wait and I had to change and take a defender. 

"I decided to leave [Japhet] Tanganga and Toby [​Alderweireld], a bit faster, a bit better to cope with the space. I decided to sacrifice Jan, so sad yes and with a reason to be sad but happy now because he won.”

Vertonghen's contract is set to expire at the end of the season and many fans felt as though this moment could have been the beginning of the end for the Belgian, but Mourinho insisted that there are no hard feelings between the two.

José Mourinho

“[I haven't spoken to him yet] but I don’t need to because he’s an intelligent guy," he said. "He’s very professional and it’s obvious that I did it not to punish because he was playing exactly the same as the others. 

"I changed because I had to change and bring an attacking player to connect for the first time with two isolated boys, Lucas [Moura] and ​Son [Heung-min] once more I think went over the limit, same as [Giovani] Lo Celso the other day. That’s why he’s injured now and I brought on Dele to try that connection which happened."

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Source : 90min