• By Yann Tear

Mourinho says final is deserved for serious approach to League Cup - Frank hails his side's bravery


Jose Mourinho believes getting to the League Cup final is a just reward for taking the competition seriously.

The Tottenham boss has always treated it as a good opportunity to gain silverware and he will be aiming to win it for a fifth time in April, having won it three times with Chelsea and once with Manchester United.

"I came 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.”

He added of Tuesday night’s 2-0 semi-final victory over Brentford: “It's a game that takes us to a final at - probably, but I hope not - an empty Wembley but of course I'm very happy.

"The final is now in our pocket for three months. We have to wait for the final so we have to focus on what we have coming up. We have the FA Cup, the Premier League, the Europa League, so let's forget the final for now. But when April arrives, we have to be ready and to fight for the trophy.

"The game was always under control. They had the offside goal, when the ball goes in the air you cannot press the ball, you just have to try to get to the first and second ball."

Thomas Frank’s side gave a very good account of themselves but could not quite cause Spurs enough problems in the final third – although they did have that Ivan Toney ‘goal’ ruled out for the most marginal of offside decisions after VAR intervention.

"First and foremost, I must say I'm very proud of my team,” said the Bees boss.

"The first VAR decision, we were inches from equalising. It was an open game, we had a top attitude, we were brave and an equaliser wouldn't have been a totally unfair result against a world-class team.

"If you want to go to a final against a top team, you need the margins with you but then they show class to get a second and after that it was game over. We need to remember Tottenham are a good team."

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