Mauricio Pochettino has calmed fears that Tottenham ace Dele Alli will not be fit enough for the Champions League final, after the midfielder was subbed at half-time during Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Everton.
Alli, who played the decisive pass to tee up Lucas Moura for his hat-trick against Ajax on Wednesday to advance Spurs to the final in Madrid, was withdrawn against the Toffees after an under-par first 45 minutes.
Pochettino, whose side confirmed their fourth-position with the draw, is confident the injury will not keep him out of the clash with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
“He didn’t start in the warm-up, he was strange in his feeling and then his performance was very poor in the first half, because he couldn’t cope with the situation, so because of caution, he was out [taken off],” the Argentine revealed.
“I think it is not a problem. We need to assess him, but I think he was tired.
“I think in a normal situation he was for sure not starting the game, but we started with him and before that problem starts something [becomes more serious], in half-time we made the change.”
Spurs were not at their best for the visit of Marco Silva’s men, but Christian Eriksen secured a point 15 minutes from time with a free-kick after Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun had put Everton in front following Eric Dier’s earlier opener.
The hosts’ performance could potentially be explained by their exploits in Amsterdam on Wednesday, however, as Spurs beat Ajax 3-2 to secure progress to the Champions League final on away goals.
And, although Spurs were unable to end the Premier League season victorious, Pochettino was thrilled with the campaign as a whole, and they now turn their attention to the Champions League showpiece against Liverpool on June 1.
Speaking in his post-match news conference, Pochettino added: “First, I want to congratulate my players. The Premier League season is finished and now we have the Champions League final in Madrid.
“My players are superheroes, I am so proud of them. The way they have behaved so professionally and what they have achieved is unbelievable.
“Four top-four finishes, four Champions League qualifications and the cherry on the cake will be the Champions League final.
“This group of players deserve so much credit. They have put so much unbelievable effort in. There have been many positives this season. The players and staff have shown so much character.
“We broke down all the doors when the circumstances were against us with the new stadium stuff. So, to see their capacity to fight again makes me so proud.
“I think this is our best season in our five years. I am so happy, so pleased. What we have achieved this season – top four and final of the Champions League – it is difficult to assess now, but in time the people [fans] will realise what we achieve.”