Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is in no mood to publicly explain why his side keep dropping points from winning positions.
The 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, where Spurs squandered a first-half advantage, took their tally to 18 points dropped after being in the lead – a record that is only second in the Premier League to Brighton’s 20.
If they had been able to see even half of those games out, the table would have a different complexion, but as it is Mourinho’s side are six points off the top four going into Friday’s clash at Everton.
Asked what the reasons behind the continual capitulations were, Mourinho said: “That’s what I’m not ready to discuss with you. I think it has to do with some of our qualities as a team but I’m not ready to discuss with you.”
Pressed on when he would be willing to share his thoughts, he replied: “Maybe never.”
Instead Mourinho tried to take the positive slant that his side are good at starting games on the front foot as only Manchester City have taken the lead in games more times than Spurs.
“I know why it happened and I know also that you can look at it in a different perspective,” he said.
“A team that starts matches well and starts winning matches means something positive, means something positive that you like to forget – the positive aspect of that.
“But I agree with you in the sense that if you’re in winning positions and you lose points from winning positions, there are also negative things side by side to it.”
Spurs travel to Goodison Park knowing that a defeat will deal a potential terminal blow to their already shaky Champions League qualification hopes, especially given Everton’s proximity to them in the table.
And Mourinho knows defeat on Merseyside could be costly.
“We’re very close to each other but there are more clubs around,” he said. “There are some clubs with a few more points, some others with a few less but with still more than 20 points on the table, I think it’s still open.
“Of course it’s the kind of match where winner gets the points and stops the loser from getting them. If you draw you stay more or less in the same position.
“So understandably I don’t think anything will be decided in there. But of course if one of the two teams wins and gets an advantage, that can be important in the direct duel. Not in the relation to all the others that are around.
“If one team wins, of course, it gets an important advantage over the other.”
Spurs will be without Matt Doherty and Ben Davies for the match.
Both full-backs have been missing since the international break, but while Doherty is back in light training after a muscle injury, Davies is still some way from recovering from his ankle injury.
“Matt Doherty did the warm-up with us,” Mourinho said. “He did the warm-up with the group and then went to sports science for individual work. So he’s not ready for tomorrow, but he’s coming.
“Ben Davies not even close to that. I would say that after 51 matches or so in the last couple of months to arrive in this sort of situation with only two injured that we cannot complain because the work has been good and the squad as a whole is in a good situation.”