News

Jose Mourinho says he’s ‘very happy’ with Dele Alli after a ‘difficult period’

Jose Mourinho says he is ‘very happy’ with Dele Alli after the midfielder returned to form with a goal and two assists in Tottenham’s victory over Wolfsberger.

The midfielder has had limited game time this season with just one start in the Premier League, causing him to be linked with a move away from the club in January.

Alli has also suffered with minor injuries, with Mourinho introducing him back into the squad slowly. However, recent matches have shown he may be getting back to his best and the Spurs boss was quick to praise his performances.

‘One of my players, Eric Dier, told me something like “individual performances are not very good when the collective performance is not good”. He’s right, that goes in both directions,’ Mourinho said at his press conference.

‘When the team plays well it’s easier for players to perform well and when players perform well the team plays well collectively.

‘So I agree with Eric and in relation to Dele, when you have players performing like he did, it’s easier for the team to play well and when the team plays well it’s easier for players to perform well individually.

‘I’m happy with him. Difficult period. Sometimes small injuries in accumulation are more difficult than a big injury where after a few weeks or months you are back.’

The midfielder is yet to play a full game since his return, but Mourinho revealed he has been building up his fitness.

He added: ‘Small injuries are mentally not good, players getting disappointed, lack of motivation, frustration. He went through all that.

‘He came back. We had good conversations, training well, playing minutes or part of matches. Not yet a 90 minute match but he went through periods and basically now 75 or 80 minutes.

‘His condition is also improving. His feelings after matches always is better. For example in the first match in Budapest, he played 60 minutes or something like that and he was super, super tired after the game.

‘This time he played more and two days later, and basically second day of recovery and he’s good.

Mourinho also said that Serge Aurier will be available for this weekend’s game with Burnley while Giovani Lo Celso is nearing a return to first team action and has returned to training. The midfielder has not played since picking up a hamstring injury in December.

‘Serge is fine, he’s fine. Trained today with the team without any limitations. As I was saying, everybody is training with the team and Gio is the only one that is not in conditions to play this weekend.

‘Gio is not ready to play football yet but he’s training with the team and that is great news for us because we have so many matches.

‘I think even next week will be quite premature for not to say impossible, but he’s coming. Today for the first time in a long time, the medical department could watch the draw as they didn’t have any players inside.

‘Now it is Sunday and then Zagrab and then Palace and then Zagreb and Arsenal and never stop so we need every body and in the particular case of Dele Alli I’m very happy.’

Tottenham host Burnley on Sunday before travelling to Fulham on Thursday as they look to get back to winning ways after back-to-back league defeats against Manchester City and West Ham.