Tottenham forward Troy Parrott has said he had to "take it on the chin" when Jose Mourinho said he wasn't ready to play for Spurs in March.
With Harry Kane injured, many Spurs fans were clamouring to see the teenager get a shot after a number of promising displays at youth level with Tottenham and Ireland.
However, Tottenham manager Mourinho made it abundantly clear he believed the teenager was not yet ready to play in the Premier League, even with a shortage of forward options at the time.
“He’s not ready,” Mourinho said in March. “He’s a good kid we want to help, not only on the pitch but off it. He’s a kid who’s going to have a real opportunity but when we decide it’s right.”
Parrott would make just two Premier League appearances for Spurs in 2019-20, totalling six minutes.
The 18-year-old has now joined Millwall on a season-long loan as he looks to gain more experience, and has insisted that he agreed with Mourinho's assessment earlier this year.
Parrott was asked by NewsAtDen if Mourinho's comments were damaging, to which he replied: "No. To be fair, he’s such an experienced manager and he’s done nearly everything in the game, so if he feels like that’s right then there must be some truth in it and I had to take it on the chin.
“I knew I just had to keep my head down in training and keep working hard. And getting this loan now is hopefully going to help me improve and push on.
“There were little conversations that were being had [at Spurs]. I was speaking to coaching staff and players finding out what I needed to do to be better. Because obviously Mourinho has worked with some of the best strikers there’s ever been. To get advice off him was great.
“I knew what I needed to do. It was helpful advice.”
Millwall finished eighth in the Championship last season, just two places and two points behind Swansea City, who grabbed the final spot in the promotion play-offs.
Parrott said that manager Gary Rowett helped convince him that The Den was the right place for his development.
“I just felt like I could trust him from the start,” Parrott said of Rowett. “I had a good gut feeling. I liked the way he explained the way the club worked, how everyone is together and how the team plays.
“I kind of bought into it and into him straightaway. That’s really why I made the decision to come to Millwall."