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Sunday 26 January 2020

Jose needs Ndombele to be fit

Tanguy Ndombele. Pic: Reuters
Tanguy Ndombele. Pic: Reuters

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho hopes midfielder Tanguy Ndombele will declare himself fit to play at Norwich today.

Mourinho revealed that the club's record buy, who has recently recovered from a groin injury, asked not to be selected for the St Stephen's Day win over Brighton as he was worried about his previous fitness issues.

He trained on Thursday afternoon and Mourinho - facing a midfield shortage - hopes that the Frenchman will be up for the fight.

Spurs will be without suspended midfield duo Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko, while Son Heung-min is also banned and Dele Alli looked to be carrying a knock in the latter stages of the Seagulls match.

Asked whether Mourinho was disappointed by Ndombele's decision on St Stephen's Day, he replied: "I think Ndombele was honest. Football players like to play football.

"For him to say, 'I don't feel confident, I don't feel in the best condition due to my previous injuries', he was just being honest. And we had solutions. We had (Eric) Dier, we had (Harry) Winks, we have (Oliver) Skipp who is a great kid fighting to improve, for a place. We had solutions, against Norwich less solutions. But let's see."

Ndombele's reluctance to play was in stark contrast to the attitude of Erik Lamela, who has been out injured since October with a hamstring problem.

After only two sessions under Mourinho, he approached the manager and told him he was ready to help against Brighton.

Mourinho said: "Lamela, he was fantastic. I think it was 56 or 57 days that he didn't train with the team. So he was there if we needed him to try to score a goal. That's the kind of thing that touches me. I like players that make sacrifices for the team."

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