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'Unbelievable' Dele Alli can play anywhere on the pitch - Pochettino

LONDON -- Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said Dele Alli can play anywhere on the pitch after he scored again in the 2-1 win over Southampton on Sunday.

Alli hit his 14th league goal of the season from the spot after being fouled by Steven Davis midway through the first half.

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The 20-year-old started the game behind lone striker Son Heung-Min, who replaced the injured Harry Kane in Spurs' starting XI.

And Pochettino told his postmatch news conference he believed the England international has the instincts of a centre-forward in the penalty area, adding: "Dele Alli can always surprise you.

"You can't guess with him. He has an unbelievable personality and character. It's all possible with him.

"He's a player that is playing in his best position. He's a player who likes to run into the box, he's very offensive.

"He's very clever in the box -- he looks like a striker, because he's more than clever. He's very smart. Outside the box, he plays like a midfielder.

"I saw him at 17-years-old for MK Dons playing as a holding midfielder against Manchester United and he can always surprise.

"Maybe one day he'll play like a goalkeeper or a full-back or centre-back!"

Pochettino said that, although Spurs missed Kane, "it was important for us to get that feeling to win the game, score goals and keep our position in the table."

Dele Alli has scored 17 goals in all competitions for Spurs this season.

Spurs had led 2-0 but were made to endure some nervous moments after half-time when James Ward-Prowse pulled a goal back.

They held on to extend their record winning run at home to 10 Premier League matches and Pochettino said: "It's fantastic. I think the team fully deserves all the praise.

"They're playing very well and it's true that today was a tough game. In the second half maybe we suffered a little bit, but in the end we fully deserved it.

"I agree we need to improve by trying to score the third or the fourth, and finishing the game before, because we were much better than Southampton. We allowed them to believe."

Meanwhile, Saints manager Claude Puel felt his side should have been given a penalty by referee Andre Marriner in a game which he believes should been a draw. Moments after Alli picked himself up to convert from the penalty spot, Spurs full-back Ben Davies appeared to have fouled Dusan Tadic in the box, but Marriner ignored Southampton's protests.

"If the referee gives a penalty for their second goal then he needed to give a penalty for us," Puel said. "I cannot see the difference. Two teams were at the same level. It was difficult for the two teams to find opportunities. Each team tried to play good football, without a lot of opportunities, but I think we stayed with a good spirit. A draw seems normal for me."

The Frenchman also confirmed striker Manolo Gabbiadini will almost certainly miss international duty with Italy next week after he was forced off early.

Puel added: "It's a groin injury and we will see with all the [scans]. I hope it is not bad but for his national team, it is not possible for him to go."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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