“I don’t know” – Mourinho answers whether midfielder will face Southampton

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho decided to leave eight members of his first team squad back in London for Thursday’s Europa League tie against Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

Among the players who did not travel to Bulgaria was Dele Alli, the midfielder was taken off at half time during the 1-0 defeat to Everton last weekend.

The Daily Mail claimed earlier this week that both Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan hold an interest in the England international.

Mourinho refused to be drawn on whether he would recall the 24-year-old to his match day squad for the trip to Southampton on Sunday and instead claimed that he now has too many players in his squad.

The Portuguese insisted that he would use the training session on Friday following the return from Bulgaria to cast his eye over his squad and decide which players are ready to face the Saints and who can provide cover on the bench.

He told Football.London: “I don’t know [if he will play on Sunday]. You ask me about Dele, you could ask me about the other seven players we left behind,” 

“To be honest I don’t like the number of players I have in my squad, it is very, very difficult to manage in every aspect of my job. Very difficult to manage this situation, too many players. It was Dele plus other seven.

“Can they be back to the squad? Of course they can. It is a case of training [on Friday] and then thinking about the plan, seeing the players that are going to start, see the players we are going to have for balance on the bench.”

He could not resist adding a tongue in cheek comment:  “I think it is another brilliant decision to only have seven players on the bench, the only country with that.

“I would like to understand why. It is a big limitation for coaches because we like to have more options on the bench. I also think it could give us more chance to rest more players to manage the situation which is difficult for the majority of the clubs in England.

“When you have the decision of us playing Sunday 12pm then Tuesday, Thursday and do this for two weeks then anything is possible.”

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