The Croatian giants were rocked by their boss’ resignation just three days before Thursday’s last-16 decider
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho insists that his Europa League plans against Dinamo Zagreb have not changed, despite the Croatian club’s head coach stepping down after being sentenced to a prison term.
Zoran Mamic and his brother Zdravko were found guilty on corruption charges in 2018, and on Monday were ordered to spend four years behind bars.
Mamic’s assistant Damir Krznar has been appointed in his stead, but Mourinho will maintain the same approach to Thursday’s second leg.
What was said?
“I don’t want to comment. I don’t want to comment,” the Spurs manager stated when asked about the unusual build-up to the game.
“An unusual situation? Ok. But what do you want me to do?
“I don’t remember [experiencing something like this], I don’t remember. Same players, same team, the assistant coach becomes the coach now, the ideas are the same there, the philosophy is the same.
“They’re not going to change anything in two days. When someone is the assistant shares the ideas of the head coach, I don’t feel anything is going to be different.”
The bigger picture
Spurs go into the last-16 decider as hot favourites to advance into the Europa League’s quarter-final stage.
Harry Kane netted a double in the first leg to put the Londoners in firm control of the tie with a 2-0 away win, and Mamic’s resignation adds further disruption into Dinamo’s plans.
The coach continued to declare his innocence even after being sentenced, affirming in a statement: “Although I don’t feel guilty, I resign as I said before I would do if the sentence was confirmed.”
Mamic had been appointed for a second spell on Dinamo’s bench in July 2020, relinquishing his role as sporting director, having led the Croatians to three straight league titles during his previous stint in charge.
Under his watch Dinamo won the 2019-20 First League title, their third consecutive national crown; while they currently sit top of the league, leading closest challengers Osijek by two points.