Alli knows Tottenham players must stay focused

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Dele Alli concedes Tottenham may have got a “little bit carried away” as talk of a Premier League title tilt grew towards the end of 2018.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side moved second on Boxing Day with a 5-0 defeat of Bournemouth, leading talk to grow that Spurs could seriously challenge for their first league crown since 1961.

But that success was followed by a gut punch in the final fixture of the year as Wolves came from behind to secure a 3-1 win at Wembley that left Tottenham reeling.

Asked what Pochettino told the squad after that loss, Alli said: “I don’t think he needed to say too much, to be honest. As players we were disappointed.

“We had been in great form before that and maybe we got a little bit carried away with ourselves.

“They’re a fantastic team and maybe we just thought we would win the game (against Wolves).

“But you can’t do that if you want to win things and be a top, top team.

“You have to be clinical and ruthless in every game and you can’t afford to take your foot off the gas and we all had a look at ourselves after and we know we can’t let that happen.”

It was an interesting admission by Alli, who helped Spurs make an impressive response by beating Cardiff 3-0 in the league before captaining the side to a record 7-0 away win against Tranmere in the FA Cup on Friday.

“With the games coming so quickly, it’s a good thing when you lose a game to have a game a few days after because all you want to do is get back out there and make things right,” the attacking midfielder said of the start to 2019.

“You can’t afford to dwell on it or let it knock your confidence because that’s when things can take a turn for the worse.

“You’ve got to turn over quickly and make sure you’re switched on for the next game.”

Victory at Tranmere means Spurs continue to fight on four fronts, with FA Cup progress complementing their place six points off Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Pochettino’s second-place side face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16 and return to action on Tuesday with a mouth-watering Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea.

“Some people maybe expect you to prioritise different things, but I believe we’ve got a strong squad” Alli said.

“Players who work hard in the gym and on the training field to make sure we’re fully fit and the manager makes changes.

“I think he’s very good at that and as players we want to play every game anyway, we want to be in every competition so all we can do is make sure we recover properly after games, mentally and physically, make sure you prepare for every game and be ready to play.

“And if not, you’ve got to be honest and say you’re not ready or, if you’ve got a little knock, you don’t want to keep fighting through things and make things worse because the last thing you need is injuries.

“So we’ve just got to make sure everyone is on it and keep up the consistency because that’s the big thing.

“When you’re going into different competitions, you can’t take your foot of the gas, but you’ve got to be consistent and keep up your top level.”

Spurs look as well placed as ever to win their first trophy since 2008 and, just as importantly, get a first taste of silverware under Pochettino.

“I think every game, every competition, you want to win it,” Alli added. “As players you want to get as far in the cup as we can, hopefully win it.

“We want to win trophies, that’s our aim and we’ve been playing well, we’ve been getting quite far in recent years without quite having the finishing product at the end and not getting over the line.

“But it’s about time for us, as players, we need to start winning things. We’re looking forward to it, we’re looking forward to the draw, whoever it is.”

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