Dele on 1st match post-Pochettino: “We were very sad but we had a job to do”

Nicholas Mendola

Dele Alli and Tottenham Hotspur’s whirlwind week ended with a win.

[ RECAP: JPW from the London Stadium ]

The club put three points in the bag with a 3-2 win at West Ham for new coach Jose Mourinho, who was hired over the international break following the firing of celebrated Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

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“It’s been a very tough week for us emotionally,” Dele said. “We’ve spent a long time with Pochettino and we were very sad but we had a job to do. We had to go out for the fans and try and stay as positive as we can.”

Dele had an assist, four tackles, and two shots on the day. He entered the day with just two goals and an assist from 10 matches across all competitions, but says it hasn’t been all bad.

“I think I have been performing well so far this season but I need to get better than my old form and get to my best.”

Mourinho focused on Dele for a time during his introductory press conference, citing his return to form as one of the things that will put Spurs back in the Top Four discussion.

[ MORE: Mourinho’s overall reaction ]

The players’ first performance for his manager went over well.

“I’m happy with him, I spent a few minutes with him in training and outside the pitch, nd we were saying that the best Dele Alli has to be back,” Mourinho said. “He’s too good to not be one of the best players in the world and not playing with the national team.”

Dele needs some loving up from a boss, as his form has not been very good at all this season (relative to his best self). Mourinho providing it publicly is a nice sign.

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