A vital away win at Aston Villa came just at the right time for Tottenham Hotspur and Jose Mourinho, banishing the memories of their worst performance of the campaign in Zagreb.
It was a professional showing from the north Londoners, which was in stark contrast to the fare served up on Thursday and in other games this season.
Mourinho delights in taking the plaudits when his teams win, and throwing his players under the bus when they lose.
It’s a tried at tested method that all of his previous players will attest to. The only surprise is that it’s taken so long to take root with Spurs.
In true Special One press conference style, the Portuguese made his happiness clear after the victory at Villa Park but still couldn’t resist in ensuring that everyone was acutely aware of the dressing room issues he has to deal with.
“The selfishness is around, the individual interests are around, the agents are around, the connections between agents and press are around,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“And instead of developing a feeling of a team, empathy, ‘I do for you, you do for me’, ‘I win if I play 90 minutes, I win if I am in the stands’.
“This is something that you need time to develop this in a group. Nowadays you need time because society and the psychological profile of younger people is not an easy one.
“I want to be proud of my players, it does not matter the result. And during my career I was proud of my players many times after defeats.
“I was not proud last Thursday or at the Emirates. For me, more than thinking about what position we are going to finish, whether we are going to win the (Carabao Cup) final, is to try to develop this spirit that we need.
“But I cannot do it alone. I have to do it with my club. I have to do it with my players in the dressing room.
“But tonight I am really happy with what they did.”
Whether or not Tottenham go on to win silverware this season, you can’t help but think that the relationship between manager and players has already broken down irretrievably.
The question is whether Daniel Levy is prepared to pay off a man who still has a contract at the club for another two years, or risk a dressing room revolt if he doesn’t.