Premiership

Pochettino unwilling to risk Alli fitness

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Dele Alli with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino will not rush Dele Alli back into first-team action this weekend despite the England midfielder returning to training on Thursday.

Alli missed Spurs’ defeats to Liverpool and Inter after sustaining a hamstring injury during the international break.

The 2-1 reverse at San Siro on Tuesday was a third successive defeat for Tottenham in all competitions, but Pochettino is not prepared to risk Alli’s long-term fitness just to try to end their miserable run.

“We still we need to wait until tomorrow [Friday] to assess whether he will be part of the squad,” he told a media conference on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League.

“Today was a recovery day for everyone, it’s difficult to assess him to see if he is ready or not to play.

“[On Friday] we will see if it is possible for him to help the team or if we need to wait a few days more to involve him in the competition.

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“We are never going to put ourselves or our interests in front of taking risks for a player. It’s impossible.

“We are never going to take a risk and put a player in because we need to win. The most important thing is getting players on the pitch, but we need to feel they are 100 per cent.

“Football is a sport [in which] you always assume the risk, but if you are conscious to take a risk it is impossible for us to take that decision.”

Moussa Sissoko is also back in training for Spurs after a similar injury, but goalkeeper Hugo Lloris remains sidelined with a thigh issue.

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