• REUTERS

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said he’s learned to turn a deaf ear to the criticism of his coaching methods and is still “one of the most important managers” in the game.

Mourinho started his managerial career with Benfica in 2000 and has since managed trophy-winning sides at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

The Portuguese boss was hired to replace Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs because of his record of claiming trophies but finds himself under pressure with his team slipping to sixth in the Premier League after leading the table in November.

The north London club was also knocked out of the Europa League this month after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb in the round of 16.

“I don’t think anybody is going to discuss rocket science with the guys from NASA, with everybody around the world,” Mourinho said in a virtual event organized by the club’s sponsor.

“They think they can discuss football with one of the most important managers in the game. That’s the beauty of football.

“I got used to it. I appreciate that. So that’s fine for me.”

The 58-year-old said his supporters, whom he labelled “Mourinistas,” motivate him to bounce back from a difficult spell.

“I used to call them the Mourinistas, because in Portugal we use ‘ista’ in the end of the name of the club that we love, to express the support,” he said.

“I have so many Mourinistas around the world that I play for them.”

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