Tottenham Hotspur's Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho once again found himself in the way of controversy in Spurs' 1-0 loss to Southampton. Photo by Alan Walter. 

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho excused his run-in with a member of Southampton’s coaching staff during a 1-0 defeat at St. Mary’s Stadium, admitting: “I was rude, but to an idiot.”

Mourinho’s side stay sixth in the Premier League and are without a win in two matches following Sunday’s defeat, which saw Danny Ings slot home the game’s only goal in composed fashion.

The tactician clashed with Saints goalkeeping coach Andrew Sparkes after he walked into the Southampton dugout, accusing the backroom member of wasting time as his team trailed.

Mourinho told reporters after the game: “I think the yellow card is fair because I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot. For some reason I was rude. But I was, and because I was rude I deserve the yellow card. Basically, I had bad words with the guy.”

Southampton’s ballboys didn’t escape Mourinho’s ire, either, as The Special One added they were “well-coached in the delaying of the game,” seemingly disgruntled at the manner of Tottenham’s south-coast defeat.

The visitors were far from perfect in a disciplinary sense, ending the clash with five players on yellow cards compared to Southampton’s three.

Spurs have one win in their last four games and seem to have lost some of the initial bounce they enjoyed following Mourinho’s appointment.

The north Londoners host Premier League leaders Liverpool on Saturday, January 11, when they’ll face the toughest task yet in their attempt to steer their top-flight campaign back on track.