REUTERS - Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has no intention of abandoning his fiery competitiveness but is working on tempering his reactions during heated moments during matches.
Alli’s combustible nature was back in the spotlight recently when he was handed a three-match European ban for a wild challenge on Gent’s Brecht Dejaegere during Tottenham’s Europa League clash at Wembley last month.
The 20-year-old England international also served a three-match suspension for punching West Bromwich Albion’s Claudio Yacob towards the end of last season as Spurs slipped out of the Premier League title race.
“There’s been a lot said about me and my aggression but I think, to be honest, it’s not something I‘m going to look to change,” Alli told reporters.
”That’s the player I am, I’ve always been like that since I was younger. It’s about getting it under control and I think I’ve been doing that.
“I’ve got to keep improving and learning; not to play with less aggression but how I react in different situations.”
Alli said he was “relieved” not to have seriously hurt Dejaegere, especially after seeing Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman suffer a double leg break in a tackle by Wales’ Neil Taylor in A World Cup qualifier on Friday.
“I feel sorry for Seamus... I‘m sure the guy (Taylor) didn’t mean to do that.” he added. “Like my tackle; I felt I was relieved that nothing bad happened to the player.”
Second-placed Spurs visit 13th-placed Burnley in a Premier League encounter on Saturday.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru