Darren Bent admitted he was stunned to see Harry Kane named among the Tottenham starting XI against Stoke City on Wednesday night.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Russell Edge, Bent suggested the Portuguese manager’s decision to name several first-team stars for a League Cup game could have backfired spectacularly.
First-team regulars Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Kane all started, while Heung Min-Son replaced Gareth Bale at half-time despite the intense demands of the festive fixture list.
However, Spurs survived unscathed and ran out 3-1 winners to book their place against Brentford in the semi-finals.
Bent, who conducted the semi-final draw himself on Sky Sports, has admitted he was amazed to see such a strong starting XI and suggested it showed just how desperate Mourinho is to win a trophy this season.
“Obviously I did them a major favour by doing the draw and drawing them against Brentford,” Bent told Football Insider.
“Harry Kane was the surprising one for me because I thought if you lose him then, ‘wow’. It showed with the team selection that he wanted to win that game, he wants to get to the final and win a trophy.
“Stoke defensively this season have been absolutely superb. I think in the top four divisions. they’ve kept more clean sheets than anybody, so you’d have to say they put up a good fight but Spurs comfortably won.
“It was a good team performance. They’ve got a real chance of getting some silverware.”
Tottenham have not won a major trophy since the League Cup success in 2008, during which time Jose Mourinho has won 16 at various clubs.