Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at Dele Alli, accusing the midfielder of creating “problems for his own team” in his side's 3-1 win over Stoke in the Carabao Cup.
Alli was handed a rare start at Stoke on Wednesday and looked dangerous on occasions in attack, seeing a goal-bound strike saved by Andy Lonergan in the first half.
However, he was at fault for Stoke’s goal when a flick gifted possession to the home side – and it was an action that angered his coach.
"For me a player who plays in that position is a player that has to link and create and not create problems for his own team,” Mourinho said in his post-match press conference. “They got us on the counterattack, so yes I was angry.
“First half we were solid. They didn't touch the ball, have a shot, have a corner. Instead of killing the game we kill ourselves. After that was a moment we needed stability and attitude.”
Stoke’s goal through Jordan Thompson, which cancelled out a header from Gareth Bale, came on 53 minutes - with Alli withdrawn on 66 minutes. Spurs would go on to win through goals from Ben Davies and Harry Kane.
With Alli struggling for minutes, the game at Stoke was a shop window to impress - and it could be some time before Mourinho pins his faith in the 24-year-old again.
Mourinho has an excellent record in the League Cup, as he has won it on four previous occasions - three times with Chelsea and once with Manchester United - and he says his side will fight for the trophy.
“Two very difficult matches,” he said. “The teams who are there will be difficult. We are in the semi-finals and we will be there to fight.”
Meanwhile, Spurs midfielder Harry Winks turned in a man-of-the-match display and was happy to get some playing time under his belt.
“I was really pleased,” Winks told Sky Sports . “It has been tough minutes wise, so to come into a game of this intensity is always difficult when you haven't had as many minutes as you want.
“The boys were brilliant, we pulled ourselves through it. It is a tough place to come, a big pitch and personally I am happy to have got man of the match.”