Mark Hughes pinpoints this major Tottenham threat in clash v Stoke
By Danny Wright
Stoke manager Mark Hughes is worried about how his side will cope with a fresh Dele Alli after he was sent off for Tottenham on Thursday.
Hughes said to the Stoke Sentinel that Alli will be one of the most energetic players on the pitch and his side will have to keep an eye on the 20-year-old.
The Spurs midfielder saw red after a horrendous lunge on Gent’s Brecht Dejaegere in their Europa League exit at Wembley.
The former Manchester City boss rates Alli as ‘outstanding’ and added that he will only learn from his mistakes.
“I don’t think it will affect his confidence, he’s a confident lad – but it was a poor challenge and he was rightly sent off, I don’t think too many people are arguing about that,” said Hughes.
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“The only thing from our point of view is that he only played 40 minutes so he’s going to be fresh for our game, from a purely selfish point of view.
“It is what it is. He’s an outstanding young player who at times maybe goes into challenges that he shouldn’t do. All young players do similar things and he will learn from experience I’m sure.”
It is not the first time Alli has failed to keep a cool head in a high pressure game.
He was retrospectively banned for three games after punching West Bromwich Albion’s Claudio Yacob in an off-the-ball incident when they visited White Hart Lane last season and he ultimately missed the remainder of the season which saw Spurs capitulate and fail to finish above Arsenal for the first time in over two decades.
Spurs welcome Stoke to north London on Sunday as they return to Premier League action for the first time since losing to Liverpool on February 11.
A win could see Maurico Pochettino’s side move up to second place in the league.
The Potters are currently ninth and have won just one of their last four league matches.
In other Tottenham news, Ledley King believes the club can take one positive from their Europa League exit.