Jose Mourinho expects his Tottenham side to take minnows Marine from dreamland “back to reality” in a historic FA Cup third round tie on Sunday.
The Northern Premier League North/West part-timers and Spurs will go down in the record books as having the biggest gap between each other in the pyramid in the history of the competition when they meet at Marine Travel Arena.
Marine sit sixth in the eighth tier of English football, while Tottenham are fourth in the Premier League, reached the final of the EFL Cup this week and remain in the hunt for Europa League glory.
Mourinho has vowed to show the Merseyside club respect and will take a squad that could include Gareth Bale and Erik Lamela north this weekend along with the likes of Jack Clarke and Harvey White.
The Spurs boss said in a press conference on Friday: “I don’t think they want to play against Tottenham under-23s, they want to play against a Tottenham team with the players they admire, they follow.
“We are trying to know their striker, their centre-back, their tactical organisation, the exactly same way we do with other opponents. I think the same way, they feel happy to play against us.
“I feel very happy to play against them. I understand the dream. It’s up to us to bring them back to reality, but I clearly understand the dream. Nobody puts a foot on a football pitch feeling they are going to lose. We are top professionals. It’s up to us to make them understand that as soon as possible.”
We have now sold 6,400 virtual tickets. The record has been broken! Thank you all.
As a permanent thank you, we will be creating a board at the Crosender Road End of the ground which will contain the full name of EVERY ticket holder as an everlasting reminder of your support. pic.twitter.com/sI9K5kKzAS
— Marine Football Club (@MarineAFC) January 8, 2021
Liverpool have provided video analysis of their Premier League rivals for Marine and Mourinho, whose side will get changed in the clubhouse bar, says that is to be expected.
The Portuguese said: “Liverpool helping Marine I think is normal, they are neighbours, I am pretty sure there are emotional connections between them. if they gave analysis, access to certain kinds of footage that they would not have, I feel it absolutely normal.
“What we can expect? First of all, we need to see the pitch. It’s important for the safety of the players. I believe they are trying to have the best possible pitch. Then it’s a group of boys playing the game of their careers.
“What can we do except respect them and win the match? I always believe to respect these teams is to beat them, is to play with a good team with responsibility, with motivation.
“A team that goes there and wins the game. That is respect. That is the cup mentality of the big teams. If we go there and we lose, of course it would be amazing for them, but would be a lack of respect from us.”