EPL

Ndombele goal 'amazing' and he proves my door is always open - Mourinho

By Sports Desk January 17, 2021

Jose Mourinho says Tanguy Ndombele is a prime example that "the door is always open" for players to come in from the cold after the midfielder scored a sublime goal in Tottenham's win at Sheffield United.

Ndombele endured a disappointing first season at the London club following his big-money move from Lyon, scoring just two goals and providing four assists in 29 appearances.

The French midfielder has shown what he is capable of in the current campaign, finding the back of the net four times and laying on three goals across all competitions for a Tottenham side battling for honours on all four fronts.

Ndombele produced a moment of magic with a clever lobbed strike to score his third Premier League goal of the season – his best tally in any league campaign - in a 3-1 victory at Bramall Lane on Sunday, with Serge Aurier and Harry Kane also on target.

The classy Ndombele made 38 passes in the Blades half, more than any of his team-mates, and misplaced only nine of his 78 passes in the match, also winning 75 per cent of his duels and making three interceptions in an impressive all-round display.

Dele Alli and Harry Winks were not in the squad for the clash with the bottom-of-the-table Blades, while Gareth Bale was not called upon from the bench, but Tottenham boss Mourinho pointed to Ndombele as proof that there can always be a way back for out-of-favour players.

"I have coached for so many years, had so many players, and I have enough experience to say and to feel that when a player is not playing very well, it's his responsibility, and when a player turns things around and brings his performance level to a very high level, it's also his responsibility," said Mourinho.

"It's a great example that with me the door is always open. The door of the team is always open, and when a player is not playing he has to try to understand why and he has to try to understand how can he walk through that door. He understood, he understood.

"The goal is amazing, but I don't care about the goal, I care about the performance and the performance was magnificent and I'm really pleased that he's come to this level. He's playing very, very well."

Spurs are unbeaten in seven games and four points behind leaders Manchester United, who drew 0-0 with champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, and Mourinho says it is all to play for.

"We have to do our season, we have to play our matches. We are in four competitions, we have a final [against Manchester City in the EFL Cup] to play," he said.

"Unfortunately we cannot do that [showdown with City] next month, we have to wait until end of April, we are going to fight in Europa League, we are going to fight in the FA Cup, we have a lot to take.

"I think at the end of the season, with the right results, you realise how good your season was, how better it could be, how worse it could be, and where you can improve."

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