Tottenham news: Mauricio Pochettino backs Dele Alli to find form with star set to return | Football | Sport
The 23-year-old missed the start of the season with injury and has struggled to hold his place at Spurs since.
It led to his omission from the England squad for the recent internationals against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria – a tough pill to swallow for a player once seen as the future star of English football.
But Pochettino believes the two-week break may have been a blessing in disguise.
“I have had some conversations with Dele over the last two or three years,” Pochettino said. “It’s a process.
“He’s young, 23, but I love the way he’s working hard to be the best, to find the best form. That is a process that needs time, too.
“I think he’s very close and he is doing well.
“It was a good opportunity for him in these last two weeks to work hard and clear things up in his head. And for us to help him find his best form.”
With Christian Eriksen suffering from a dead leg while on international duty with Denmark, Alli could be in line for a recall against Watford on Saturday having made just one substitute appearance in the Premier League all season.
Pochettino was also vocal on Spurs’ January transfer plans, insisting it’ll be a quiet window for the north London side.
“No, I don’t believe we will do anything in January,” he added. “I believe in the players we have at Tottenham today. I respect the opinion when people will say we need to change, in or out.
“But my decision is to stick with players. They have the quality. It’s only to unlock something in their minds.
“It is not about changing this chair for a sofa and moving the table. We are the same. It is most important to help them; most important to provide calm.
“It is important that players feel support from the manager. I trust 200 per cent in them and believe they have capacity and potential to win the games.
“This situation happens at all clubs sooner or later. We have confidence we have the quality. It is only matter of time. For them, they are the principal actors on the pitch.”