Mauricio Pochettino explains why Dele Alli has been key to Tottenham's revival

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino during the press conference

The Spurs boss believes his side have been helped by Alli re-finding his "naughty" side.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has told reporters, as quoted by the Mirror, that Dele Alli rediscovering his "naughty" side has helped to revive the club's fortunes.

Spurs have been suffering badly in recent weeks after a superb start to the Premier League season, enduring a run of seven games without victory in all competitions and crashing out of both the Champions League at the group stage and the EFL Cup.

However, they have recovered somewhat by winning two of their last three in the league and sealing a Europa League last-32 spot with a 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow in midweek.

Tottenham's Dele Alli celebrates scoring their first goal

Pochettino believes one key factor in that mini-revival has been the return to type of Alli, as the young midfielder has begun to show some of the aggression and arrogance that characterises his game.

The Argentine boss told the Mirror: "Dele Alli is Dele Alli because he’s a little bit naughty. He needs the naughtiness in context. Don’t cross the line but this is a little bit his identity. It’s who is he. Dele Alli is Dele Alli because of how he is.

"It’s his character, in a good way. He’s a brilliant boy. He has a brilliant brain, he’s very smart. He is very sensitive, very intuitive and because he comes from a difficult background you can understand when you’re with him. But he’s a very nice person - off the pitch."

Alli has got in trouble on several occasions since his breakthrough in the Spurs team at the start of last season, racking up suspensions and media criticism for a perceived lack of discipline.

However, Pochettino clearly feels that, to a limit, these traits are good for both Alli himself and the team as a whole.

He will be hoping that the young England star can drive his side on to a fourth win in five games when Spurs take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Tottenham's Dele Alli is fouled by Swansea City's Kyle Naughton for a penalty

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