Dele: I have spoken to the boss about my temper

Dele Alli insists a series of heart-to-hearts with Mauricio Pochettino has turned him into a calmer character, but makes no apology for the fiery streak which continues to land him in trouble.

The England and Tottenham playmaker was recently sent off against Gent for a horrendous studs-up challenge on Brecht Dejaegere in the second leg of their Europa League clash, which appeared to be some sort of act of retribution after the referee failed to spot him being fouled moments earlier.

As a result, 10-man Spurs crashed out of the competition and England manager Gareth Southgate can ill afford such indiscipline on the international stage.

But while club boss Pochettino has spoken in the past of the “devilment” possessed by Alli, the pair are working together to improve things bit by bit.

“I have so many things to learn from this season,” Alli said. “Everyone makes mistakes and it’s important that you bounce back. I felt horrible straight after it but it’s important I put it behind me and make sure I learn from it and keep improving.


“Thankfully, Mauricio Pochettino knows that’s who I am. We’ve had a few talks and he’s been really supportive. It’s good to have a manager behind me who trusts and supports me as much as he does.

“I have calmed down a bit but I’m never going to take that out of my game. I’m never gonna say sorry for wanting to win or trying as hard as I can.

“Sometimes things happen and you have to learn from them. I’m still young, I’m 20 years old. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs in football, that’s the way it is. It’s important if things don’t go my way and things happen, that I learn from them and keep improving.”

Even though this is still only his second season in the top flight, Alli is already showing he is not afraid to dish out a few talkings-to of his own.

“It’s important we help each other when we can,” he explained. “If something needs to be said, then we aren’t scared to say it.

“That’s the great thing about this team. You feel comfortable telling other players what you need to tell them and they take it as a positive. That’s good.”

In truth, Alli can be forgiven a multitude of sins all the time he is rattling in the goals. His eye for the back of the net is particularly important right now, when both Spurs and England are missing the input of the injured Harry Kane.

Alli took over his team-mate’s penalty-taking duties in the 2-1 win over Southampton on Sunday, scoring his 17th goal of the season and his 24th Premier League goal in only 60 appearances.

“As soon as Harry got injured, we felt it was important that we all stepped up, did our piece and chipped in with the goals now,” said Alli. “He will keep supporting us off the pitch and it’s important we get the points.

“I always want more goals, I’m always hungry. It’s important the team keep scoring and we keep winning games.”

Towards the end of the Southampton game, Pochettino even pushed Alli forward to fill Kane’s position at the spearhead of the attack, but Alli does not see this as a long-term transition.

“I enjoy playing as a No10,” he said. “I am happy to play anywhere in this team. If the manager wants to push me higher in some games, then I am happy to do that for the team. But I think I am a midfielder and enjoy playing everywhere.”

(Daily Express)

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