Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho
Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said that he is sad over Frank Lampard being sacked as the head coach of Chelsea but stressed that it is the “brutality of football” and a manager knows that sooner or later it is going to happen.

“I don’t think Frank wants to speak to me or with anyone apart from his close circle of family and friends. But I am always sad when a colleague loses his job and Frank is not just a colleague,” Mourinho said. “He is an important person in my career so I feel sorry he did. But it is the brutality of football, especially modern football so when you become a manager you know that sooner or later it is going to happen to you.”

Lampard has previously played under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge from 2004-2007 and then again in 2013.

Chelsea dismissed Lampard on Monday. “Chelsea Football Club have today parted company with Head Coach Frank Lampard. This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly,” the club said in a statement. The club has not yet announced Lampard’s successor. “The Club will be making no further comment until such time as a new Head Coach is appointed,” the club had said.

Mourinho also heaped praise on Gareth Bale after the Welsh winger scored in Monday’s 4-1 victory at Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round.

Bale started for the first time since December 23 and netted the equaliser in first-half stoppage time after Fred Onyedinma had given the Championship strugglers side a shock lead.

Bale, 31, has struggled for form and fitness but looked sharp in completing his first 90 minutes since returning on loan from Real Madrid.

“He was good. Good movements, one against one, beating people, attacking, creating chances, scoring a goal,” Mourinho told reporters. “I never felt he could not play 90 minutes, I never felt I needed to change him.”

Mourinho made 10 changes to the side that beat Sheffield United in their last game but brought on first-team regulars Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Tanguy Ndombele as they chased the win in the second half.

Harry Winks put Spurs ahead in the 86th minute before Ndombele struck twice to book their spot in the fifth round.

Mourinho said Spurs would not sacrifice the Europa League or cup competitions despite a crowded fixture schedule and were determined to compete in all competitions.

“Even when we had to play four matches in one week and people thought we were going to give away Europa League or Carabao Cup we didn’t,” Mourinho told BBC. “Today we brought the whole squad — only Hugo Lloris stayed at home. February we have to play three competitions with FA Cup and then Europa League. Of course it will be very hard but we have to try.”

Spurs are fifth in the Premier League with 33 points from 18 games and host champions Liverpool on Thursday.