LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 24 – Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has hailed the performance of Dele Alli after the 3-2 victory over West Ham on Saturday.
Mourinho praised Alli for his overall showing in the Portuguese tactician’s first game as Tottenham boss but admitted a “difficult week” had taken its toll on the whole team as his players clung on for all three points at London Stadium.
The Spurs star has been put under the microscope this season after a series of lacklustre displays for his club – resulting in the 23-year-old being dropped by Gareth Southgate for the last two England squads.
But the ex-Milton Keynes Dons starlet played an instrumental role in Mourinho’s first win as Spurs head coach, assisting Heung-Min Son’s opening goal and then coming up with a with a key pass in the build-up for the second while lying on his back on the touchline.
Mourinho appeared quick to take some credit for the midfielder’s resurgence after the game when he said he had spoken to Alli personally to try to improve his confidence.
“I think Dele was like the team,” said the ex-Chelsea and Manchester United manager. “Brilliant for 60 to 65 minutes and then he also paid the price of the tiredness, so he went a little bit down. But I think he was the old Dele Alli. The Dele Alli of a couple of years ago that impressed not just England but the world.
“He did exactly what I wanted him to do. In two days of work, some action and information. I tried to make it clear for him exactly the spaces where we wanted him to play, offensively and defensively. Intelligent football player to understand what we wanted and very important for the team. Very pleased with his performance.”
Having seen his new side secure their first away league win since January, Mourinho revealed the mood in the dressing room was jubilant, with smiles all around and music playing for the first time in 11 months after the end to Spurs’ domestic travel sickness.