Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris says Spurs are prepared to be ‘naughty’ to win games for Jose Mourinho.
The north London side are hoping to put a tumultuous 2020-21 season behind them on Sunday when they kick off their new campaign with a home game against Everton.
Clips from the club’s Amazon Prime documentary series have shown Mourinho chastising his players for being too nice on the field – and Lloris accepts his side need to be able to win ugly.
“It can be true in football, you sometimes have to know how to win in the ugly way,” Lloris told the Guardian.
“You don’t always need to play the fantastic game to win, you just need to know how to win. Particularly on a bad day, it helps if you still know how to win.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t be a good guy off the field, but when you are on the field you have to do everything you can. You might have to be naughty, to get the winning taste, but if you win that kind of game it makes you even stronger.
“You still need talent and team spirit and all the usual things, but sometimes that’s not enough. The manager is trying to instil a winning mentality, which is something we all have to follow.”
While Mourinho has stated his desire for a new striker, Spurs have been active in this summer’s transfer market.
Matt Doherty has joined from Wolves and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton, as well as the free-transfer signing of former England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
With fresh faces among their ranks, Lloris is hoping Spurs can enjoy a fresh start in Mourinho’s first full season in charge.
“It was tough at times last season but it belongs to the past,” he said. “We have to look ahead, we have to rebuild our confidence and we are making some progress.
“When I look at the games we played after the restart there were some good signals. I could see some improvements, especially in the way our manager wants us to play.
“We should not forget it was not easy for him either, arriving in the middle of the season, but now it’s a new season and important to make a good start.
“We have only had four weeks’ preparation, and there are far too many games to play, but it is the same for everyone. That’s why it is important to make a good start. We have a really good squad with very good spirit and we are ready to start and compete.”