Mourinho explains Dele absence after dropping him to bemusement of team-mates

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has revealed the reasons behind his decision to omit Dele Alli from Spurs' matchday squad for their clash with Southampton.

Tanguy Ndombele was brought into the starting XI in place of Alli and started alongside Harry Winks and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, with fellow midfielders Moussa Sissoko and Giovani Lo Celso preferred on the bench.

Alli had been hauled off at half-time during Spurs' disappointing 1-0 loss to Everton on the opening day and his latest snub will raise questions about his future after Mourinho admitted his absence was not down to a fitness issue.

Speaking to BT Sport, Mourinho said: "No [he's not injured]. We have a huge squad, a squad with numbers that are very difficult to manage.

"I never had it, I don't like to have it and it's not easy for me. I start with Son, with Lucas and with Harry Kane and on the bench I still have Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela and Steven Bergwijn.

"We have too many players for some positions and some of them are paying the price for this."

The decision is said to have left members of the Spurs squad baffled.

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Mourinho has been quick to play down any suggestions of a rift with Alli.

Speaking after he took Alli off at half-time against Everton, Mourinho said: "That is my job to make these decisions and to try the best for the team when I am not happy with the performance.

"There is no story. It is just that. Dele's a very polite guy, very calm, I think he's a bit introspective.

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"When you think a lot about things, so I think the way he reacted was Dele. Was quiet, was sad but in the end after the game he was just one of many.

"But again, I repeat, he's a good boy. Very, very polite and I never saw from him, in here, with myself, with the others, a strong reaction. A good boy, a really good boy."

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