By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Mousa Dembele has revealed he will have a “joke” with Eden Hazard about his fellow Belgian’s title comments.
Hazard and his team-mate Cesc Fabregas have been criticised for saying they want Leicester to beat Spurs to the Premier League trophy even though Chelsea are still to play both of the title chasers.
Leicester’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Sunday moved them eight points clear at the summit and Tottenham must a win at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1990 to keep their faint title hopes alive.
Dembele has claimed he is shocked by his countryman Hazard but he is not taking the comments too seriously.
“I am surprised at what Eden has said,” Dembele, one of four Belgians in the Spurs squad, said in quotes reported by The Sun.
“He is not the type of person to normally make those types of comments or to envy other people’s success. I’m wondering whether he said that stuff because it is what he really thinks, or whether he was just talking for the sake of it.
“Tottenham play some of the most attractive football in the Premier League — we have a beautiful style of play, but I won’t pay too much heed to his comments and those from Cesc Fabregas, who has said similar things.
“People come up to me in the street and say ‘Did you hear what Hazard said? What’s his problem?’ I will have a word with Eden before the game, although I will make a joke of it. I won’t conduct a half-hour interview with him.
“I am convinced he didn’t think about what he said. It won’t have a bearing on our relationship in the Belgium national side, though.”
While he is not taking Hazard’s remarks too seriously, he hopes it will galvanise the squad when they head to Chelsea seeking to keep their title challenge alive.
“He has motivated us well for Monday,” Dembele said, as quoted by The Sun. “We want to show Chelsea why we are ahead of them in the table. We don’t need motivating in any case for a game against Chelsea.
“We want to finish above them, but I don’t take a malicious pleasure from it — both Eden and myself want to write our own stories rather than focusing on others.”
I’m other Tottenham news, one regular is in a race against time bid to face Chelsea on Monday.