Having led twice, Spurs slumped to defeat against Wolves – their second consecutive loss in the Premier League.
The result leaves Tottenham five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who occupy the final guaranteed slot of next season’s Champions League.
Jose Mourinho accused his Tottenham players of being ‘too nice’ after defeat to Wolves
Spurs European hopes took a hit after they were beaten 3-2 after taking the lead twice
And Mourinho believes his team are not streetwise enough and have been punished for not displaying more of a nasty streak.
‘I think we were punished, not just today on the second and third goal, but for quite a long time because we don’t have that aggression, ruthlessness.
‘I think we are too good, too nice. That was the only thing that made a difference to the game. Otherwise I think the team was really good.
‘We didn’t have one single problem apart from Wolves’ individual qualities. So it’s an unfair result, totally unfair.
‘They have Raul Jimenez yes, a fantastic player, and they have that incredible counter attack which is very difficult to stop, especially if you don’t have the mentality they showed.
‘For example in the first minute of the game, Ruben Neves makes a tackle on Lucas [Moura], who is going to counter attack. In the last minute they did the same with [Leander] Dendoncker, which the referee gave a yellow card. I think that’s the way a team has to play football. That’s the way they did.’
Since his arrival as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement, Mourinho has twice come within touching distance of fourth, only to watch his team lose ground as they moved within one game of their former club..
Victory against Wolves would have cut the deficit to Chelsea to just two points – instead it is Wolves, who have moved into sixth, who can smell the the Blues’ blood.
Mourinho claimed the result was ‘totally unfair’ and said they were ‘punished’
New signing Steven Bergwijn gave Spurs the lead that didn’t last very long on home soil
However, they endured a frustrating afternoon as they dropped five points from the top four
The loss of strikers Harry Kane and Heung-min Son to injury have arrived as crushing blows but Mourinho said: ‘We have to try to keep close until the moment we have our power back.
‘But it’s frustration, not just for me but also for the players. We recovered 11 points and went to one point, but then everything changed for us.
‘It’s frustrating but we have to keep fighting. I cannot complain about the players’ spirit.
‘I can complain about some psychological characteristics – that is something not easy to pretend. But I have nothing to complain about the players at all.’
Mourinho allayed concerns captain Hugo Lloris is facing another lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury after missing yesterday’s loss with a groin problem.
Mourinho believes the injuries to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son means they’ve lost ‘power’
He was also concerned about Hugo Lloris’ injury after he picked up a groin problem
The goalkeeper has missed the majority of the season with an elbow problem and his omission against Wolves sparked fresh fears over his fitness.
‘How long is he out for? I don’t know. It’s hard to say when he’s going to be back,’ explained Mourinho, who named academy graduate Harry Winks as captain in Lloris and Kane’s absence.
‘Is it a big problem? I don’t think it is, but not ready to play today, we have to wait.’
Meanwhile, the Spurs boss will continue to resist calls from fans to give youth prospect Troy Parrott more opportunities despite their forward crisis.
Republic of Ireland international has been prolific for the academy but Mourinho added: ‘He is not ready. He’s a good kid, a good talent, he’s a kid we want to help, he’s a kid who needs help, not just on the pitch but outside it.
‘He’s a kid we’re going to take care of like we have since the beginning. And he’s a kid who is going to have a real opportunity in the right moment when we feel it is the right moment.
‘Why was he on the bench? He was on the bench because [Erik] Lamela told me before the game he was not even ready to go on the bench.’
On his team’s excellent win, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: ‘We are relentless, we believe the game is still to be played.
‘They believe in the way that we do things. It’s a matter helping each other.’