By 90Min
February 25, 2018

Mauricio Pochettino has hit out at those viewing Dele Alli as an 'easy target' in a diving debate after the England man was booed off the pitch by Crystal Palace fans on Sunday afternoon. 

Alli was involved in a confrontation with Palace's Patrick van Aanholt in a match which saw him go down under pressure from Wayne Hennessey in the box; although no penalty was given. 

Speaking to the media after the game, Pochettino said: "He's an easy target for everyone, Dele. He's an easy target and I think Roy Hodgson was very well in his press conference previous to the game, and I think we need to stop thinking so much about him, about how to help the people, the fans to create this reputation. 

"His game, he plays like this and of course he's so competitive, but I think that because he has the focus there are different players who are worse than him and nothing happens because I think Dele is an easy target."

Pressed on whether he believed Alli should have won a penalty in the incident at Selhurst Park, he added: "I didn't see the action, so I cannot say he was or was not fouled.

"No, [it won't affect his confidence]. Dele is so special, he is going to play and he's going to show his quality. He's not worried what the people say around him."

Hodgson, who defended his former England charge in the build-up to the game, insisted that he didn't believe Alli 'looked' for a penalty and joked: “I would advise Patrick not to square up to Dele Alli. If you ask me in future, I’ll tell him to stay away from him, I think my money would be on Dele Alli on that fight.”

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