English Premiership

Alli vows to stay grounded after superb goal

2015-11-18 17:57
Dele Alli (Supplied)

London - England's rising teenage star Dele Alli has promised that a man-of-the-match display in Tuesday's 2-0 friendly win over France at Wembley won't go to his head.

The 19-year-old Tottenham Hotspur midfielder marked his full international debut by scoring England's opener with a fine strike from 25 yards that beat France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, a Spurs team-mate.

He then started the move that led to England's second goal for captain Wayne Rooney, although the fact the match was being played at all, just days after attacks in Paris killed 129 people, was of arguably greater significance than the final result.

"It was important that we showed we are here for them and thinking about what happened," Alli said of the tributes to the Paris victims at Wembley.

"It was a tragedy. It was an emotional night for both teams and I think it showed before the game."

He added: "But it was important that we focused on the game as soon as that whistle went and I thought we played well.

"Obviously to get the goal here at Wembley (was great), but I think it was important that we got the win and thankfully I got the goal.

"Sometimes it can sort of put a downer on it if you don't get the result you want.

"First, most importantly, we got the win and then thankfully I got the goal with it."

Just six-and-a-half months ago, Alli helped hometown club Milton Keynes Dons out of third division League One but has since become an established player with north Londoners Spurs.

Tuesday's match was his fourth international appearance and the kind of form he displayed at Wembley could see All force his way into England manager Roy Hodgson's squad for next year's European Championships in France.

Alli, however, said: "I am not going to look too far forward -- I've still got a lot to learn. I am just going to go back to my club and keep doing as well as I can and whatever happens, happens."

Another Tottenham midfielder made his first England start against France, with Eric Dier called up by Hodgson to perform a defensive, holding role.

"He is obviously a great player and it makes it a lot easier when you know you've got that security behind you," Alli said. "I put a lot of trust into him and he puts a lot of trust into me.

"It's a bit of a funny relationship but he's a great guy and I couldn't think of anyone better to play with."

Meanwhile Alli thanked Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for having the confidence to give young players such as himself and Dier first-team action.

"It's a great thing for the manager, you know? He puts a lot of trust into youngsters and I think it shows," he said.

"We're all playing well at the minute at Tottenham and we're just going to keep focused and keep trying to improve."

Read more on:    tottenham hotspur  |  england  |  dele alli  |  soccer


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