LONDON (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur may be flying high in all competitions but the Portuguese coach conceded that he is unable to keep all of his players happy with England forward Dele Alli not getting any minutes in their Europa League win on Thursday.
Spurs beat Royal Antwerp 2-0 to seal top spot in their group but Alli was not one of the five substitutes used and midfielder Harry Winks, making a rare start, walked straight down the tunnel when he came off for Tanguy Ndombele in the second half.
“How can I keep them all happy? I don’t think they’re all happy at all, that’s the nature of football, I can no make miracles,” Mourinho told BT Sport.
“I told the players if they’re not subbed on just go for a hot shower,” the Portuguese said in reference to Winks.
“I told every player that left the pitch to go because when the weather is cold I prefer they go to the dressing room and have a shower,” Mourinho later clarified.
“Winks decided to go and I am happy with that because I am the one that told him to do it.”
Spurs head into Sunday’s Premier League clash at Crystal Palace top of the standings and have not lost since the opening day of the season.
However, Alli has been a peripheral player this campaign, making only two appearances in the league, and the 24-year-old looked a frustrated figure on a chilly evening in north London.
“Let’s not run away from reality. A player on the bench who realises all five subs have been used of course is not a happy player and I would not expect him to be happy,” Mourinho said.
Alli was linked with a move away from Spurs in the close season and could look for a transfer in next month’s window to boost his chances of making England’s Euro 2020 squad.