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Doherty was spurred on by Jose's jokes


Tottenham Hotspur's Matt Doherty. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur's Matt Doherty. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur's Matt Doherty. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters

Tottenham defender Matt Doherty has been won over by Jose Mourinho's sense of humour following his summer arrival.

The Republic of Ireland right-back made the switch from Wolves a month ago and says that the persona Mourinho presents publicly is not the one inside the dressing room.

"From the outside, you just see the interviews, see him in the media and on the sidelines," Doherty said ahead of his side's Europa League play-off with Maccabi Haifa.

"But you don't know him, you don't realise the sense of humour that he has, the bond that he has with his players.

"In terms of that, I was pleasantly surprised. Before I even signed, I had a little bit of contact with him and his sense of humour is very good, he can have a joke with you.

"He made me feel incredibly welcome as I was signing. So a lot of different things. And obviously the stuff he does on the training pitch is exceptional.

"So it's great for me to be able to learn off him and find out what he thinks I need to do to improve my game and play under him. It's been a pleasure.

"Once I knew there was interest, it was pretty straightforward that I wanted to come to Tottenham and play for Tottenham this season. Fortunately for me, it's managed to happen.

"But we were just talking and he would send me a video of the changing room saying, 'The changing room is waiting for you', and stuff like that.

"He sent me a picture of the top. Just nice little things like that, that he didn't have to do. I have to say the club's been exceptional since I've been here. Not just him but general staff."

Meanwhile, Mourinho has praised the way Dele Alli has handled being frozen out of recent Tottenham squads.

The 24-year-old has only featured in two of Spurs' six matches this season and has been linked with a move away.

Mourinho refused to confirm whether he would be involved tonight but has been impressed with his reaction to being left out of the team.

"I cannot confirm Dele's playing but I cannot confirm he's not playing," he said. "The only thing I can say is he's being very, very professional."

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