Dele Alli: Spurs must ensure Europa League exit does not undermine Premier League title bid
Dele Alli says Tottenham must ensure their Europa League exit does not affect their confidence and undermine their Premier League title bid after a second defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
Spurs suffered a chastening 3-0 loss in Germany in the first leg of their last-16 European tie last Thursday, and they then went down 2-1 at White Hart Lane last night, resulting in a 5-1 aggregate scoreline.
However, there is all to play for in England’s top flight, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side lying five points off the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s home game against Bournemouth, and Alli said: “If we win the league, this will be forgotten.
“We’re a young team and [facing Dortmund] was a great learning curve for a lot of the players. It’s important we don’t let it get us down and we keep fighting.
“It’s a bit of a blow for the confidence and that’s why it’s important we get our heads up, get the three points against Bournemouth and get back on track.
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“We know we’re a great team. We’ve got a lot to learn from this but we can’t let it dishearten us and we’ve got to keep going, keep the form we’ve shown in the Premier League and carry on until the end of the season.
“We’ve got eight games to go, it’s still a long way and we know we’re up there and fighting for it. We’ve just got to focus on the next game - Bournemouth at home. We need to make sure we get the three points and get back in form.
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“Bournemouth have got some great players and they’re another one of the surprises of the season. A lot of people would have expected them to go down but they’ve got a great manager and a lot of great players. It’s important we don’t become complacent, we do our job and stay professional.”
Alli has enjoyed a remarkable rise this season after making the step up from League One last term, and he believes Spurs’ Europa League campaign has aided his development, having faced the 2013 Champions League finalists yesterday evening.
“I’m still 19 and I’ve got a lot to learn. This is a great club to do that at,” he said. “In the Europa League this year I’ve played in a lot of the games and it’s a great learning curve for me. I’ve learned something in every game so it’s been good.
“Obviously I missed the Dortmund away game through suspension but there’s been a lot of great experiences for me and to be doing it with these boys, with the young team we’ve got, is a great achievement and I’m looking forward to next season.”
Alli is likely to get the chance to play in Germany next Saturday, March 26, after being named in the England squad that will take on the world champions in a friendly in Berlin before playing a home game against Holland at Wembley the following Tuesday.
“I’m eager to go away and meet all the England boys again and I’m eager to get some minutes on the pitch and show what I can do,” said the teenager.
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs