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Jose Mourinho: Final place a reward for Tottenham

Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham Hotspur have been rewarded for taking the Carabao Cup seriously as they reached the final.

Spurs booked their place in April's Wembley showpiece with a 2-0 victory over Brentford and Mourinho praised his team for treating the competition seriously.

He said: "I came to England in 2004 and I remember that in that period I had to learn the meaning of the cups here and I always took it seriously.

"If there is any secret it's to take it seriously. To respect what English football is, what English clubs are, what English lower divisions are.

"That's what I hope to do on Sunday in Crosby against Marine [in the FA Cup]."

Spurs will now face a final against either Manchester United or Manchester City and Mourinho believes that big clubs are always keen to secure the first silverware of the English domestic season.

The Portuguese coach said: "If you see the winners you realise the big clubs want to win it.

"Who was the last winner apart from the normal top six? Swansea? I remember Manchester City winning a lot of times, Chelsea winning a lot of times, I remember United winning a few times.

"I remember Liverpool in finals, Arsenal. The big clubs care about it."

Spurs will end their 13-year wait for a trophy if they win the final in April but Mourinho has urged his players to concentrate on the immediate future.

He said: "It's a game that takes us to a final at - probably, but I hope not - an empty Wembley but of course I'm very happy. We've had London derbies and other games but this is the match that took us to a final.

"The final is now in our pocket for three months. We have to wait for the final so we have to focus on what we have coming up. We have the FA Cup, the Premier League, the Europa League, so let's forget the final for now. But when April arrives, we have to be ready and to fight for the trophy."

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