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Published: 23:35 | 19/2/16

Pochettino happy with 'naughty' Alli


Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino wants teenage midfielder Dele Alli to continue to be "a little bit naughty".

The 19-year-old England international was lucky not to be sent off in Tottenham's 1-1 Europa League draw at Fiorentina on Thursday night, just a few weeks after being accused of stamping on Yohan Cabaye during the 3-1 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on 23 January.

The Argentine says the former Milton Keynes Dons midfielder's aggressive nature reminds him of himself in his playing days, and adds an edge to his game.

"He's still very young and needs to learn a lot, he came from League One," Pochettino said.

"He's a little bit naughty. But it's good. I like it. I was like that. I was naughty like him.

"I was sent off a lot in my career. At Espanyol, in 10 years or 11 years... 13 or 14 red cards. It was a record.

"He's calm. He played the whole second half with a yellow card. He's clever. Like me.

"Always my first action was a yellow card, and then I played better, I always played better with a yellow card than without a yellow card."

Pochettino says he is looking forward to meeting up with Emmanuel Adebayor when Tottenham face Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The Togo international signed for Palace in January on a free transfer until the end of the season, after being released by Tottenham last year.

However, Pochettino says he and Adebayor remain on friendly terms despite the decision to terminate his White Hart Lane contract in September.

"We had a very good relationship with him for one year," he said.

"Always we spoke like men. I like him. But you know sometimes in a professional side you need to split and take a decision, but always we have a good relationship.

"We are really pleased he is at Crystal Palace and we have to focus on our game. I think our fans will give a good welcome to Ade because he played for Tottenham.

"He scored a lot of goals for Tottenham. Sometimes in football you have a good or bad period. But I think we need to show respect and make sure our fans help the team go to the next round. This is our challenge."

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