Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has explained that Dele Alli’s form is not the problem; he is just struggling to match last season.
Alli scored 18 Premier League goals last season but has scored just three times in this top-flight campaign, the last coming in October in Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Liverpool.
He was particularly poor against Manchester City last week and could have been sent off for a nasty challenge on Kevin De Bruyne.
“His success in two and a half years is massive, a fantastic achievement. It’s not that he isn’t doing good – the problem is that in the past he was amazing,” said Pochettino as he previewed Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
“Sometimes to be consistent, a player needs to go down to come back up.
“The most important thing now is support from the club and the coaching staff, to trust and help him reach the same levels as before.”
Pochettino has had to lift his players after that demoralising defeat to City.
“The reaction will be good, no doubt. We trust each other, the team trusts what we are doing. We are in a position where the ambition is to be as high as possible. We know we need to win, to be superior.
“The busy schedule is not a problem. We have similar stats to last season – I think we are only three points down – but we are still in the Champions League. And there are different circumstances.
“Some teams have improved a lot from last season, like Manchester City. We need to keep going. Belief is important. We need to try and change the dynamic, to win games and get close the top four. It’s a long way until the end of the season.”