“And I could think of it as some matches where we play at home in the best stadium of the world will have, if Boris allows, some spectators but not the full emotion of a big Champions League match.
“They could think, ‘Oh, next year I have to play in the Europa League! There could even be a qualification in the middle of September! Oh! I don’t want to do that.’
“But if we say, ‘Come on, next season we are going to win the Europa League’ – that is a different feeling.”
With Spurs desperate for a trophy, Mourinho is trying to put a literal silver lining to the cloud that has hung over the club since Mauricio Pochettino left after picking up just 14 points from the first 12 games.
With a string of major injuries to throw into the mix, Mourinho feels with hindsight reaching the Champions League was always beyond the club, even if that is what they are used to.