Jamie Redknapp believes Tottenham have made a “massive statement” after reaching their first domestic final since 2015 during Jose Mourinho’s first full season in charge.
Spurs have not won a major trophy since their League Cup triumph over Chelsea in 2008 but this will be their ninth appearance in the final of the competition, which they have won four times.
But the club are one game from ending a 13-year trophy drought as Moussa Sissoko’s first-half goal and a Heung-Min Son strike after the break booked their place in the Carabao Cup final with a 2-0 win over Brentford.
Mourinho’s exceptional record in the League Cup continues as he reached his fifth final and, promisingly for Spurs, he has won his previous four. The result against Brentford ended a run of three successive domestic semi-final defeats, and Redknapp believes Tottenham won’t fear either Manchester club in the final at Wembley.
“It’s huge for Mourinho and for the whole club in trying to change their mentality,” the former Tottenham midfielder told Sky Sports.
“Now it’s a big opportunity for him. They will have to play an incredible side, be it Manchester City or Manchester United in the final, but that’s where they want to be. It’s been over 12 years since this club won a trophy which is too long.
“They were professional and did it the right way, and they always had it in them to win this game with the likes of Son and Kane but it’s a big win.
Jose Mourinho in English cup semi-finals:
2004-05 LC ✅
2005-06 FAC ❌
2006-07 LC ✅
2006-07 FAC ✅
2014-15 LC ✅
2016-17 LC ✅
2017-18 FAC ✅
2020-21 LC ✅
Third manager to reach League Cup Final with 3 clubs – 𝗻𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿’𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗵𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 pic.twitter.com/txpYBI7G7g
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 5, 2021
“Fans will all get brainwashed nowadays with the idea of getting into the Champions League and the money that it brings into the club, but when you look back at your career, you want to win trophies. So for Spurs, this is a massive statement.
“They’ve proved they can beat Manchester City and earlier in the season they demolished Manchester United. They can put this to bed now as something they can look forward to, and with how explosive they are up front, they can beat anybody.”
Jose: Taking League Cup seriously is my secret
Tottenham boss Mourinho says taking the League Cup seriously is the key to his success in the competition after booking his fifth final appearance.
The Portuguese has a love affair with the competition and becomes just the third man to reach the final with three different clubs following Ron Saunders and Ron Atkinson.
Mourinho has always paid it full respect and did so again as he named strong teams in each of the last two rounds against Stoke and Brentford.
“I come to England in 2004 and I remember that in that period I had to learn the meaning of the cups here and I always took it seriously,” he said.
“If there is any secret it’s to take it seriously. To respect what English football is, what English clubs are, what English lower divisions are, and try to not be surprised in any of the games from smaller quality, and when you have like we had this season a game against Chelsea to go serious and with ambition. Apart from that there is no other secret.
“What I sense in the team is exactly that desire. I’m not saying winning mentality, I’m not saying we are this or that.
“I just say we are honest people. The guys since the first game against Chelsea, then Stoke, and now the guys took it seriously.
“And that’s what I hope to do on Sunday in Crosby against Marine (in the FA Cup). Try to be serious, respect the opponents, and try to progress.”
Having enjoyed a third-round bye and then Championship opposition in the quarter-final and semi-final, things will be a lot tougher in the final against one of the Manchester clubs.
Mourinho says the top clubs pay it more respect than people think, with only City, United or Chelsea winning it in the last seven seasons.
“If you see the winners you realise the big clubs want to win it,” he said.
“Who was the last winner apart from the normal top six? Swansea? I remember Man City winning a lot of times, Chelsea winning a lot of times, I remember United winning a few times.
“I remember Liverpool in finals, Arsenal. The big clubs care about it. The final says a lot. Tottenham against Manchester City or Tottenham against Manchester United.”
Mourinho was not overly enamoured with his side’s display against the Bees, but declared it job done after goals in either half from Sissoko and Son.
“Defensively was good. We were always in control,” he added. “With the ball we scored two goals, we could have scored a couple more.
“But I’m not happy. I think we have to play better. Sometimes bad decisions, sometimes technical mistakes. Many times recovering the ball and not being vertical in playing backwards.
“I think we have to do better but great respect for the opponent, for the game, for the responsibility, for the ambition. But job done, we are in the final.”
The 2020/2021 Carabao Cup final has been pushed back from February to April in the hope that more supporters will be able to attend Wembley on the new date.
The match had initially been scheduled for February 28 but is now set to be played on April 25, with kick-off at 4pm, live on Sky Sports.
Tottenham are in FA Cup third-round action on Sunday as they travel to face Northern Premier League Division One side Marine at 5pm. Brentford host Middlesbrough at 6pm on Saturday in the same competition.