Alli, who left MK Dons in the summer, has been a revelation this season, forcing his way into Pochettino’s starting line-up with a series of sparkling displays. England boss Roy Hodgson watched the 19-year-old play 90 minutes in Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last Sunday and is believed to be considering the midfielder for matches against Estonia and Lithuania next month. Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino believes it is too soon to talk about midfielder Dele Alli playing for England. “He was on the bench against Qarabag but I think he needs to play to have the opportunity to score,” Pochettino said. “We need to stop speaking about Harry Kane, we need to let him do his job. The most important thing is I’m very happy with his effort, the way he has been playing. “Strikers need to score but it is only a matter of time, the goal is coming. “You always need to try to ask why – he needs to improve, we need to ask why to improve his performance in games. “This is a tough moment because he needs to score because he is a striker, but around the club, in the changing room, we believe in him.” Spurs take on league leaders Manchester City on Saturday, hoping to bounce back from Wednesday’s Capital One Cup defeat to Arsenal. They are also looking to reverse a recent run of poor results against City, who have won the teams’ last four meetings, scoring 16 goals and conceding just twice. “Tomorrow is a good opportunity to change the dynamic,” Pochettino said. “Football is psychological and emotional. We need to be ready for tomorrow to compete. This is the most important thing. To compete. “We are ready for tomorrow, we are fresh and we want to give a good result to our fans after the defeat on Wednesday.” Ryan Mason remains sidelined with a knee problem while Mousa Dembele, Nabil Bentaleb and Alex Pritchard have ankle injuries and also miss out. Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Danny Rose have all received debut call-ups under Pochettino’s guidance but the Argentinian has warned against rushing Alli to follow suit. “It’s the same situation as last season with Harry Kane,” Pochettino said. “Be careful with the younger players, the players who arrive in the Premier League and perform well. It’s not easy. “But again, like last season, it’s not my decision. It’s Roy Hodgson’s decision if he wants to call up Dele Alli. “You can see he’s a player that is very mature and shows great quality but always in football it’s step by step and we need to be careful. “He will mature. He has personality and good character. But it is too much of a rush to talk about bigger steps for him.” Kane scored 79 seconds into his England debut in March but has managed only two goals in 16 appearances since for Tottenham and is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League this season. Despite the drought, Kane has played well in games for Spurs and Pochettino insists he has no plans to pull the 22-year-old out of the firing line. Press Association
Asante Kotoko beat the Ghana Premier League champions by a goal to nil to win the SIC H.P Nyametei SWAG Cup on Sunday at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi in the presence of their life patron and owner Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene.Eric Donkor carried his last season’s form into the pre-season by scoring a 90 minute goal to help his side clinch the SWAG Cup for a record 14 time.The first half was balanced, but Ashgold who have augmented their squad with the inclusion of the Nuhu brothers, Fuseini Nuhu and Alhassan from New Edubiase United were slightly on top in the half.However, Kotoko managed coil the attacking threats of the Miners and settled for a scoreless draw to end the half.Coach David Duncan started the game with some new faces, namely Theophilus Nyame, who played the holding midfield role, Stephen Nyarko, Edwin Tuffour Frimpong, Osei Agyemang while the likes of Kwame Boahene, Bennett Ofori came on as substitutes. The fire power of Ashgold was quenched by Kotoko who came top in the second half and created some decent chances, but their attacking line failed to put the ball past Robert Dabuo in the league champions post.Coach Bashiru Hayford gambled in the 90 minute by replacing Robert Dabuo with Nana Bonsu to conjure magic for Ashanti Gold should the referee blow his whistle to usher the two sides into penalty shootout to break the tie.But, it failed to work out for him as Ashgold conceded a free kick, just outside the 18-yard box and the sensational Eric Donkor finished off to beat rusty Nana Bonsu in his first test in the game.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports
It appears the Bucks are looking to add some outside shooting.They are meeting Thursday with former Cavaliers guard JR Smith, according to The Athletic, which cited unidentified league sources. Raptors’ Kyle Lowry had procedure to repair tendon injury in thumb, report says JR Smith will have a free-agent meeting with the Bucks today in Milwaukee, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Bucks are searching for a wing shooter and both sides will have opportunity to sit down.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 18, 2019Smith, 33, was waived by Cleveland earlier this week after spending almost five seasons with the team. He appeared in only 11 games in 2018-19 after agreeing to leave the team in November to await a trade or his release.Milwaukee could have plenty of use for Smith if the two sides can reach an agreement though. Hall of Fame NBA coach Jerry Sloan’s health reportedly in steep decline: ‘He is dying’ Related News The Bucks retained 3-and-D wing Khris Middleton by giving him a five-year, $178 million deal this offseason. But they also sent a 50-40-90 shooter in Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers in a sign-and-trade. Only the Rockets attempted more 3-pointers per game than the Bucks last season, so a 37.3% career 3-point shooter like Smith could help fill the void left by Brogdon’s departure.The Bucks had a league-best 60-22 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before being eliminated by the Raptors in six games. But star Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard is out of the picture now, as he joined the Clippers in the Western Conference in July.Milwaukee has the reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 2019 Coach of the Year in Mike Budenholzer — who transformed the organization’s offense in his first season leading the team. Role-players like Smith and Wesley Matthews could help the Bucks get over the hump and return to the Finals for the first time since 1974.