Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes prioritising results over style is what has made his Tottenham counterpart Jose Mourinho so successful.
The Reds boss said in the key moments, the Portuguese is happy to abandon all else in the pursuit of victory.
Klopp’s side won plaudits across the board for the way they played their way to a first league title in 30 years last season but he accepts there are other ways of getting the job done and he respects Mourinho for his focused will to win.
“I think with the very long time Jose Mourinho has been successful in the football business, he played pretty much all different systems and a lot of different styles,” said Klopp.
“As a coach you have to adapt to the quality you have and mix up the ideas you have and that is one of the best skills of Jose Mourinho.
“At the end of the day it is all about getting results and that is the best skill of Jose because in the decisive moments he is not bothered about style he is just bothered about the result and that makes him the most successful manager around and I respect that.”
The pair meet in a top-of-the-table Premier League clash on Wednesday, two years to the day since Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United heralded the Portuguese’s sacking two days later.
In that game Mourinho sent Marouane Fellaini on at half-time in preference to Paul Pogba in an attempt to stifle their hosts and leave with a point – but it was a tactic that did not work.
Mourinho has Tottenham playing some attacking football but Klopp does not believe it is fair to judge then and now.
“I don’t think you can compare the last game of Man United with the way they play now. From a confidence level it is completely different,” he added.
“Has he reinvented himself? I don’t know – it looks a little bit like that when you see him on Instagram!
“But apart from that he is just so experienced and smart he knows what to do. I think he asked for time at the beginning and obviously it paid off.
“Tottenham have the quality of the top teams and when they have the ball they show that.
“They defend like a top team and at the moment probably have the best counter-attacking movements.
“It is not that they play just a little bit of football, they are a proper package at the moment but that doesn’t cost me confidence when I think about my team. It is business as usual.”
Jose: Klopp is close to perfection
It seems the feelings of admiration are mutual as Mourinho described what Klopp is doing at Anfield as “close to perfection”.
“I believe that a team to achieve what Liverpool have achieved already and what they keep trying to achieve more, the work has to be perfect,” he said.
“Great transfer window, great evolution of the players that they had (when Klopp arrived). Time for Jurgen to establish the profile and the principles of play that were going to be the base of the development of the team.
“Then a huge investment on key targets. (They bought Virgil) Van Dijk in a crucial moment, Alisson (Becker) in another one. Everything they do, they do very, very well.
“So, I think he’s, he’s very close to perfection to reach the level of results that they are reaching.”