The 56-year-old has been named as Mauricio Pochettino’s successor, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal at the north London club.
He met his new squad following his hasty appointment, which was announced less than 12 hours after Pochettino was fired, on Wednesday and then took training ahead of his first game in charge at West Ham on Saturday.
The Portuguese, who has been out of work since losing his job at Manchester United last December, inherits a squad that are languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League, having taken 14 points from their 12 games.
They are 11 points off the top four and while Mourinho stopped short of saying Spurs could bridge that gap, he promised they would be in a better position once he gets going.
“In relation to the Premier League I think we know where we are and we know that we don’t belong there,” he told Spurs TV.
“At the end of the season we will see where we are but I know that we are going to be in a different position than we are now.
“I look forward to the challenge and the responsibility to bring happiness to everyone that loves the club.”
Mourinho moved quickly to appoint his backroom staff, with Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos joining from Lille as assistant manager and goalkeeping coach, respectively.
“We should just play match after match. The next match we want to win and that is the same for the next and the next and the next until the last.
Tottenham also confirmed the arrival of Carlos Lalin as fitness coach, Ricardo Formosinho as tactical analyst and Giovanni Cerra as technical analyst.
All three worked under Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Despite his intrinsic links to Chelsea, Mourinho has always spoken fondly of Tottenham, touting them as a potential title winner at the start of the season, while he has been in attendance at several games this season.
He was always glowing in his praise of Pochettino and has reiterated his delight at taking on a squad that he believes is full of quality.
“It is a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels that happiness in relation to the squad that he’s going to have,” he added.
“These are not words of the moment. They are not words of me being the Tottenham head coach.
“These are words that I’ve told and I’ve repeated in the last three, four, five years even as an opponent.
“I always told about the club’s potential. I always told about the qualities of the players.
“I always told about the magnificent work the club was doing. I really like this squad.”
Mourinho arrives in north London needing to repair his reputation after a toxic final few months of his time at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese was often pictured looking dishevelled, was often bad tempered in press conferences and allowed a fall-out with Paul Pogba to affect the club.
He looks rejuvenated – no doubt thrilled at the prospect of being able to work in London again – and he insists he will show passion for the role.
“I couldn’t be happier and if I was not as happy as I am, I would not be here,” he added.
“What can I promise? Passion – for my job but also passion for my club.”
On paper, Mourinho’s appointment at Spurs appears a mismatch as they are traditionally a club that plays an attacking style of football and promotes young players.
It seems unthinkable for him to have taken the job without some sort of assurances from chairman Daniel Levy that there will be money to spend – starting in the January transfer window – and he has also vowed to use players from the academy.
“Looking to the young players, there is not one manager in the world that doesn’t like to play young players,” he said. “There is not one.
“The problem is sometimes you get into clubs where the work that is below you is not good enough to produce these players.
“I look to our history and you see that the academy is always giving players to the first team and I look forward to working with that profile.”
Despite his troubles in the latter stages of his tenure at Old Trafford, Mourinho remains one of the most sought-after managers in the game.
His success at delivering trophies is not in question, having won three Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and a host of domestic cups, and that was a clear attraction for Levy.
Levy previously tried appointing Mourinho in 2007 when he left Chelsea for the first time and has admired him since.
Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football.
“He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician. He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”
Pochettino was dismissed after five-and-a-half years in charge, less than six months after he took Spurs to the Champions League final, with the club lying 14th in the Premier League table after the opening 12 matches.
With Manchester United and Real Madrid previously keen and now Bayern Munich looking for a new manager, the Argentinian will be out of work for only as long as he chooses.
Mourinho will be presented to the media at 2pm on Thursday.
Jose Mourinho club-by-club record
BENFICA (September 20, 2000 to December 5, 2000)
- Played: 11
- Won: 6
- Drew: 3
- Lost: 2
- Win percentage: 54.55
- Trophies: None
UNIAO DE LEIRIA (July 2001 to January 23, 2002)
- Played: 20
- Won: 9
- Drew: 7
- Lost: 4
- Win percentage: 45.00
- Trophies: None
PORTO (January 23, 2002 to May 26, 2004)
- Played: 127
- Won: 91
- Drew: 21
- Lost: 15
- Win percentage: 71.65
- Trophies: Primeira Liga (2003, 2004); Portuguese Cup (2003); UEFA Cup (2003); Champions League (2004).
Mourinho ascended to the summit of Portuguese football with a treble of league, cup and UEFA Cup wins after taking over mid-season. He added a memorable league and Champions League double before being head-hunted by Chelsea to take over from Claudio Ranieri.
To put Porto’s European achievement in context, just seven different clubs have won the Champions League in the 14 years since – including all four of the clubs subsequently managed by Mourinho.
CHELSEA (first spell: June 2, 2004 to September 20, 2007)
- Played: 185
- Won: 124
- Drew: 40
- Lost: 21
- Win percentage: 67.03
- Trophies: Premier League (2005, 2006); League Cup (2005, 2007); FA Cup (2007).
Once more Mourinho made an immediate impact with back-to-back title successes in his first two seasons.
They missed out in his third year and – though they softened the blow by winning both domestic cups – a poor start to the following season saw him sacked with the Blues languishing in fifth place. They would eventually finish second.
INTER MILAN (June 2, 2008 to May 28, 2010)
- Played: 108
- Won: 67
- Drew: 26
- Lost: 15
- Win percentage: 62.04
- Trophies: Serie A (2009, 2010); Italian Cup (2010); Champions League (2010)
Desperate to show that the disappointing end to his first Chelsea spell was a mere blip, Mourinho bounced back with a trademark start in Inter.
The Nerazzuri were untouchable in Serie A, winning the title by 10 points in Mourinho’s first season and holding off a renewed challenge from Roma in a second season which also brought the domestic cup and Mourinho’s second Champions League triumph.
His successes persuaded Madrid to negotiate a deal to lure him to Spain.
REAL MADRID (May 31, 2010 to June 1, 2013)
- Played: 178
- Won: 128
- Drew: 28
- Lost: 22
- Win percentage: 71.91
- Trophies: Primera Division (2012); Copa del Rey (2011).
Barcelona provided a quality of opposition beyond what Mourinho had faced previously and his rivalry with first Pep Guardiola and then Tito Vilanova in the opposing dug-out proved fiery.
Cup success in his first campaign and the traditional league title in his second proved insufficient to satisfy Real’s hunger for trophies and, after a barren third season, he returned to the warm embrace of Chelsea.
CHELSEA (second spell: June 3, 2013 to December 17, 2015)
- Played: 136
- Won: 80
- Drew: 28
- Lost: 28
- Win percentage: 58.82
- Trophies: Premier League (2015); League Cup (2015).
The Blues finished third in a tight Premier League title race in the season he returned, before he kept up his second-season record with a league and League Cup double.
After 16 games of the 2015-16 campaign, though, the club’s title defence was in tatters and they almost unbelievably sat just one place above the relegation zone when Mourinho was once more shown the door.
- Played: 144
- Won: 84
- Drew: 31
- Lost: 29
- Win percentage: 58.33
- Trophies: EFL Cup (2017); Europa League (2017)
David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal had tried and failed to replicate the success of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford when the club turned to perhaps the biggest name in management.
They won two trophies in his first season at the helm but Mourinho had to watch his former club Chelsea lift the Premier League trophy – followed by his old rival Guardiola at Manchester City as Mourinho’s year-two magic finally wore off. A poor start to his third season saw the pressure intensify following heavy losses to Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool, which also saw the Red Devils register the least amount of points to a Premier League season after 17 matches before he was sacked.