LASK Linz will have to find a way to combat the ‘incredible’ pace at Tottenham Hotspur’s disposal during Thursday’s Europa League clash, manager Dominik Thalhammer has told Spox.
Jose Mourinho may be viewed by many as the living, breathing, scowling antithesis of the swashbuckling brand of attacking football more readily associated with his old Classico counterpart, but it is fair to say goals have not been in short supply recently.
Sunday’s thrilling 3-3 draw with West Ham means Spurs have scored a remarkable 16 times in their last three matches in all competitions, putting seven past Maccabi Haifa before hitting Manchester United for six at Old Trafford.
So Thalhammer, who only took over LASK earlier this year, is under no illusions about the size of the task facing his Austrian Bundesliga underdogs.
“It will be very, very difficult and a huge challenge,” said a man who spent almost a decade in charge of the Austria women’s team.
“(Mourinho is) inspiring. It is a great challenge to learn from a coach like this and understand how he acts tactically in different situations.”
LASK were swatted side 7-1 on aggregate by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United in last season’s Europa League, but Thalhammer believes there is more to fear from a Tottenham side with pace to burn in the final third.
“It was a good experience (against United),” he added. “We saw that we can be stable (against top opposition). (Tottenham) is, again stronger, with an incredible amount of speed and quality.”
The in-form duo of Harry Kane and Heung Min-Son may be rested tomorrow night, with Carlos Vinicius and Gareth Bale potentially in line to make their first starts under Mourinho.
Tottenham Hotspur’s summer signings
£15 million; Southampton
£13 million; Wolves
£25 million; Real Madrid
Loan; Real Madrid
£12 million; Swansea