Jose Mourinho explains why he feels "hurt" about Dele Alli situation at Spurs

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he feels "hurt" not to be able to include Dele Alli in more matches.

The 24-year-old midfielder has been a peripheral figure ever since he was taken off at half-time in Spurs' first Premier League game of the season against Everton.

He was left out of the squad to take on Burnley on Monday, but was included in the starting line-up for the first time in five weeks for Spurs' Europa League game against Royal Antwerp on Thursday.

And speaking to BT Sport ahead of the match, Mourinho said he hoped the player would be able to seize the opportunity to impress.

"Dele is working hard and I feel very hurt when I don't select him or even don't have him on the bench, but this is the consequence of the attacking players we have," Mourinho said.

"Tonight [Dele & Steven Bergwijn] have to catch the opportunity with both hands."

Spurs will look to build on their 3-0 victory over LASK in the Europa League last week when they take on Antwerp, and Mourinho appeared to have a great deal of respect for their opponents.

"What do I know about the team? Since we got in the draw I am studying my opponents with my assistants and analysts," he added.

"Of course I watch as many possible matches from Antwerp. I have a good feeling when I watch a team, I have a good feeling immediately about the coach level and even without knowing personally the coach [Ivan] Leko I can say immediately he has to be a good coach for the way the team plays and the way the team is organised."

Spurs' congested fixture list continues after Thursday's game, with a home game against Brighton on Sunday followed by a trip to Bulgaria to take on Ludogorets next Thursday.

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