Tottenham Hotspurs are not heading into an easier run of Premier League fixtures despite their recent string of tough encounters with fellow big six outfits, says Jose Mourinho.
Spurs sealed their place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Wednesday against Championship outfit Stoke City, to resume their winning fortunes after consecutive top-flight defeats.
Back-to-back reverses against champions Liverpool and fellow title contenders Leicester – who sit first and second in the Premier League respectively – has dented Spurs’ own ambitions of a maiden crown.
Tottenham would be able to arguably take heart from an upcoming slate of games with theoretical lower-grade opposition after taking seven points off successive games with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal over late November and early December.
But speaking ahead of his side’s clash with Wolves on Sunday, Mourinho played down the notion of there being any simple fixtures in the Premier League, while noting that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side could feature in the top-four race this term.
“I believe [Wolves could challenge the top six],” the Portuguese noted. “But it’s very hard in this league to have consistent runs, because every game is very difficult.
“We were in a period where we had to play against the considered top six teams, we got them all in a row, and now some people will say we are going to get an easier run of matches.
“What is easier? Going to Wolves, playing Fulham and Aston Villa is easier? It’s not easier. We should be very happy [with where we are], and not sad with that, because it’s a fantastic league, I believe.”
Spurs will be without Giovani Lo Celso during their festive fixtures, but Mourinho is confident captain Harry Kane will be able to play a full part after overcoming a knock at the start of December.
Kane, who started against the Potters in midweek, needs one more goal to become just the fourth Englishman to reach double figures in seven straight Premier League campaigns, after Michael Owen, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.
“Gio will not be fit,” said Mourinho. “I really don’t know [how long he will be out]. He will not be playing in this period of Christmas, New Year’s, that’s for sure.
“I hope that [Kane] plays all of the next matches again. The next match is Sunday. I believe that a player like him that works well, takes good care of himself with a great professional life, I believe that he will be ready to play against Wolves.”