Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho has praised club record signing Tanguy Ndombele following the midfielder’s late winner in Thursday night’s tough Europa League qualifying comeback win over Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
Ndombele bundled the decisive goal into the net with just five minutes to spare, shortly after Harry Kane had equalised from the penalty spot against 9-man Plovdiv.
Mourinho’s relationship with the £63m Frenchman appeared to sour in the second half of last season and he cuttingly declared that Spurs ‘didn’t have a midfield’ following a game in March in which Ndombele was hauled off at half-time.
The boss also stated then, “…a player with his potential has to give us more than he is giving us.”
By July, it was reported in France that the relationship had completely broken down and that Ndombele made up his mind that he longer wished to work under Mourinho. That appeared to be underlined by his almost total absence from the team during ‘Project Restart’.
But fast forward to now and Mourinho, who admits he did doubt Ndombele’s attitude and work ethic, seems prepared to offer a fresh chance. He turned to the 23-year-old on the bench early in the second half to make the difference in Bulgaria and he did.
“Tanguy is in a process of evolution. Last season he wasn't. Last season he was stuck in a situation where I couldn't see evolution,” Mourinho explained to the media after the final whistle.
“In this moment he's training very, very well. He's recovering from his injury, he's recovering physically and he gave us what we needed in this last 30 minutes.
“In this moment, I believe in Tanguy. I never doubted his quality. Never. I doubted in some moments his motivation and commitment and professional attitude.
“We made this decision together to not start the game because he also feels that he needs a bit more but, in this moment, I think that Tanguy can do well for us."
Source : 90min