Jose Mourinho vowed to get Tottenham back “where we belong” next season after they settled for Europa League qualification at the end of a troubled campaign.
Mourinho led Tottenham to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.
Tottenham were 14th when Mourinho took charge in November following Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking and he endured a series of injuries to key players before the coronavirus hiatus.
So, while Mourinho was frustrated to have missed out on Champions League qualification, the Tottenham boss believes the foundations have been laid for a return to the top four next season.
“What we can do of course is improve. When all the players are available we showed in this last period where we belong. I don’t know, maybe in this period, after lockdown, we finished third or fourth in the table,” Mourinho said.
“So that’s where we belong. I want to have my team, my players, not a medical room full of players. I want a pitch full of players.
“Of course as a squad the main thing is to keep our very good players and after that improve the squad.
“Are we going to buy 10 players? No. Are we going to buy players for 100 million? No. We are going to improve.”
Mourinho oversaw a six-game unbeaten run to deliver Europa League qualification, overturning a seven-point gap to sixth place after a loss at Sheffield United earlier this month.
While the Europa League doesn’t have the prestige of the Champions League — in which Tottenham finished as runners-up last year — Mourinho said they should focus on winning the competition next season.
“Of course everybody that one day plays Champions League doesn’t want to go back and play Europa League but it was the only thing possible after such a difficult season for club,” he said.
“Arriving 14th and handling things is not bad at all. I am quite happy next season we play in Europa League and it’s just a question to motivate ourselves for that competition and try to motivate the fans to support us and do something beautiful.”