Tottenham forward Lucas Moura insists the whole squad is behind manager Jose Mourinho after they bounced back from a difficult week with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa.

Spurs followed up a limp defeat in the north London derby with an embarrassing Europa League exit to Dinamo Zagreb that led to a full and public inquest.

Mourinho accused his players of lacking professionalism while captain Hugo Lloris surprised many with his honesty in a television interview.

Lloris claimed fringe players were causing trouble, perhaps hinting at some of the stories leaked to the press about Mourinho’s training methods, and suggested the Europa League result was a consequence of deep-rooted problems at the club.

Moura is a key ally of Mourinho and is currently playing the best football of his Spurs career, setting up Carlos Vinicius’ opener at Villa Park and also having a hand in the move that saw Harry Kane win and then score a penalty at Villa Park.

And he says the squad retains belief in the under-pressure Mourinho.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho gestures from the touchline during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho gestures from the touchline during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.

“We are all together. We’re in the same boat. We lose together, we win together,” he said.

“What happened in Croatia was our fault. Everyone is included. When we’re on the pitch, we just want to win.

“We know there are a lot of fans behind the TV supporting us. We play for our family, we play for pride and we’re all together.

“We believe in the coach. We believe in the coach because we know his history. We just want to be successful here.

“The last two games were very bad, the feeling was very bad. Today we showed our nature, we showed attitude.

“The good thing about football is you don’t have time to cry. You have a lot of games to play and in each game you can do differently. We did differently today, we deserved that win and I’m very happy for that.”

Despite the negativity around the club after those two bad results, the win at Villa kept Spurs in the race for the Premier League top four, as they sit three points behind Chelsea.

With nine games to go and a Carabao Cup final against Manchester City to look forward to next month, Spurs’ season is very much alive.

“Let’s go. With luck. We have nine games to play, we have a final, let’s finish the season well,” Moura added.

“(Top four) is still possible of course. We’ll fight until the end to give everything.

“If we play like we played today of course we can reach the top four. It’s our objective of course but let’s think step by step, game by game. We will give everything for this.”

Villa’s troubles without injured star man Jack Grealish continue as they struggled to create any clear-cut chances and their season is dwindling to an unspectacular end.

Boss Dean Smith said: “I thought our play up until the final third was quite good, I thought we started the game, the first 30 minutes, good and they scored against the run of play with their first effort.

“But when you’re having good periods in this league, you’ve got to be creating opportunities and it’s something we were doing earlier in the season and we haven’t done lately.”

Tottenham Hotspurs Lucas Moura (left) and Davinson Sanchez celebrate victory after the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.

Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura (left) and Davinson Sanchez celebrate victory after the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.

  • Tottenham responded to their humiliating Europa League exit in style with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa that keeps their Premier League top-four hopes alive.

Spurs embarrassingly threw away a 2-0 first-leg lead to lose 3-2 to Dinamo Zagreb in the last 16, which saw under-fire boss Jose Mourinho question his side’s attitude and professionalism.

Their European exit means that they can only qualify for next season’s Champions League through their league finish and goals from Carlos Vinicius and Harry Kane moved them to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

It was the first time Kane and Vinicius started together and they both delivered, the Benfica loanee scoring his first Premier League goal in the first half and Kane adding a second-half penalty.

For all the negativity brought about by Thursday’s loss, which included captain Hugo Lloris speaking of a broken dressing room, they are very much in contention for Champions League qualification and still have a Carabao Cup final to come next month.

Villa’s season, however, is dwindling to a limp end as a run of no wins in four games looks like restricting them to a mid-table finish after they had threatened an assault on the top six earlier in the campaign.

Mourinho made a statement with his team selection, responding to two disappointing results by making changes and also including 16-year-olds Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine on the bench.

It was a bright start from the visitors and they enjoyed some promising moments down the left, yet could not find the quality in the final moment.

Villa came into the game and looked threatening, which made the timing of Tottenham’s 29th-minute opener perfect for Mourinho.

Vinicius chased down a long ball, prompting on-rushing goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez into a poor clearance that fell straight to Lucas Moura.

The Brazilian played a one-two with Harry Kane and then rolled the ball across the face of goal to give his compatriot the easiest of tap-ins and his first league goal in just his second start.

Spurs have had the tendency to retreat in games where they have taken the lead – often to their cost – but they came out in the second half trying to find another goal.

Kane saw a deflected effort from the edge of the area flash just wide while a sauntering run from the impressive Moura looked like ending in a goal until his pull back to Kane was cut out.

Villa have struggled to create in the absence of Jack Grealish and had to wait until just before the hour before they had a shot on target as Joe Rodon made an important clearance from Trezeguet’s effort.

That proved a vital moment as midway through the second half Spurs doubled their lead.

Kane did well to draw a foul out of Matty Cash on the byline and the outcome from the penalty spot was predictable as Kane clinically converted his 17th goal of the season.

Spurs threatened to add a third as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg brought a fine save out of Martinez, while they also wasted good chances on the break.

They eventually had some defending to do in the final 10 minutes and stepped up as Japhet Tanganga produced a fine block from Ollie Watkins.