Wed. Aug 21st, 2019

Dele Alli urges Tottenham team-mates to use Champions League final ‘hurt’ as driving force

‘We’ve got to use it as an advantage’: Alli urges Tottenham team-mates to use Champions League final ‘hurt’ as driving force this season

  • Dele Alli says Spurs can bounce back from Champions League disappointment
  • The midfielder admitted injury problems tested his mental strength last season
  • Alli hailed Harry Kane’s sensational goal in the pre-season win over Juventus
  • He also believes England are heading in ‘the right direction’ ahead of Euro 2020

Dele Alli believes Tottenham should use their Champions League heartache to drive them to success this season.

Mauricio Pochettinho’s side went down to Liverpool in the final of the competition and the playmaker wants to use the ‘hurt’ they felt to their advantage.

‘We’ve just got to try and use it as an advantage,’ he said. ‘And use that hurt we felt after the game and that we’re still feeling now when we think about it. We’ve just got to try and use that to drive us on as much as we can in the next season. It was a great campaign but obviously it’s heartbreaking not to have won it in the final.’ 

Dele Alli says Tottenham’s Champions League final disappointment can make them stronger

The 23-year-old had a tough time with injuries last season, and is hoping to put that behind him going into the new campaign.

‘It was obviously a difficult season for me in terms of injuries,’ he said. ‘It was the most injuries I’ve ever had in one season. I’ve got to use it all to go forward and not think about it in a negative way.’ 

Alli admitted he felt the mental strain. ‘It’s tough not just physically but mentally as well,’ he explained. ‘You have to dig deep. Sitting in the treatment room and watching the lads train and watching at games is not nice. It’s not nice to be on the sidelines. I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.’ 

Alli pictured in action during Spurs' International Champions Cup victory over Juventus

Alli pictured in action during Spurs’ International Champions Cup victory over Juventus

Alli is in Shanghai where Spurs play Manchester United on Thursday. They defeated Juventus 3-2 in Singapore on Sunday thanks to a halfway line winner from Harry Kane in injury time.

‘You never know!’ he said when asked if he was going to attempt to copy his team-mate. ‘It was a special goal and I said to him after the game when did he see the keeper off the line because there’s been games where we talk about it and sometimes it’s not on to try, but he went for it and it went in, so it was a great strike.’ 

Alli, who took on 100 kids with two team-mates in a community event amid stifling temperatures in an event put on by sponsors AIA, is looking forward to the fixture.

The Tottenham star signs a shirt for a young fan at an AIA community event in Shanghai

The Tottenham star signs a shirt for a young fan at an AIA community event in Shanghai

‘We want to challenge ourselves against the top sides and Man United’s a great team,’ he said. ‘It’s another challenge and keep preparing for the start of the season. But like the game you saw the other day against Juventus, we took it very seriously and we’re going to take this game serious and make sure we put in a good performance.’ 

He admitted that the heat was making things difficult. ‘We had our first session today and it was tough obviously with the heat,’ Alli said. 

‘But we adapt to different things and it’s all part of pre-season, getting back fit and making sure we start the season as strong as we can. It is very hot but it’s a beautiful place and we’re happy to be here.’ 

The 23-year-old Alli took on 100 kids with two team-mates in a game at Yuanshen Stadium

The 23-year-old Alli took on 100 kids with two team-mates in a game at Yuanshen Stadium

Should all go according to plan, Alli will play for England at next summer’s European Championship. And he can see the similarities between club and country.

‘For England, we’re heading in the right direction as well,’ he said. ‘It’s very similar to here at Tottenham. We’ve got a young squad, we’ve been together a little while with the manager and it’s exciting. 

‘We all want to play the same way which is good. There’s a massive tournament coming up and we’ve got to keep making sure we prove we deserve to be in the team. It’s exciting and I’m going to be as well as I can for my club and country.’

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