Dele Alli hails Tottenham Hotspur manager Pochettino for this reason

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Asked if he ever doubted if Lamela would play again, Pochettino insisted: "No, never doubts". Erik posted a photos and a video of him with his significant other and newborn son in the hospital on his Instagram page, and the whole of Spurs social media went D'AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Lamela, who joined from Roma in 2013 for a then club record £30m, featured for an hour for Tottenham's under-23s in their defeat by Chelsea last week and is in contention for a place on the bench, although Pochettino said the player's return to first-team action would be closely monitored.

"It's never easy and the expectations need to be low". We need to believe and try to win games. He will be involved again tomorrow in a competition. If we don't it's hard to be a contender.

"He wants to help you improve and push you on".

"We've found ourselves quite a way behind the top of the table and we have to find a way to claw that back", he said.

"But that is not an excuse, the team is doing well and only disappointed because we dropped two points when we should have taken all three".

"That's for the board to decide what they're doing". The gap is massive.

"Last season I remember I told you it was hard to cope with the pressure of playing and competing in the Premier League and Champions League, and today I think we have the same points as last season in the Premier League".

"In this season we finished first against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel, and we have the same points (in the league)".

Lamela may get a run-out as a substitute against Leicester but next week's Champions League dead rubber against Apoel Nicosia could offer the chance of a start.

Tottenham's title challenge has been derailed by a disappointing run that has included only one win in their last four Premier League matches. Midfielder Harry Winks is a doubt for the trip to Leicester due to illness, while centre-back Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and midfield enforcer Victor Wanyama (knee) are both out.

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