Jose Mourinho is watching Dele Alli 'like a hawk' at Tottenham.

That is the view of former Manchester United and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who believes that the MK Dons youth graduate is playing it safe at Spurs due to a lack of confidence in his ability.

The 24-year-old has only made three starts in all competitions so far this season and been taken off at half-time twice, on the other occasion only lasting until the hour mark.

Hargreaves has now given his thoughts on the situation, noting Mourinho’s predicament following the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Royal Antwerp in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is looking for consistency
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is looking for consistency

While watching the clash on BT Sport , he said: "He's lacking in confidence and you can see his frustration with the fact he was making mistakes. He knows he's being watched like a hawk by Mourinho and everyone. He wants to play well but when your confidence is low, you end up playing really safe.

“What I noticed today was that when he was getting the ball into him, he was just stopping it dead rather than try to get it out of his feet and keep moving. He doesn't want to make mistakes.

“He's such a fabulous player but he needs to play with that freedom that we saw when he burst onto the scene when he was absolutely outrageous."

Dele Alli and three others were withdrawn at half-time against Royal Antwerp
Dele Alli and three others were withdrawn at half-time against Royal Antwerp

In another hint at his future plans, Mourinho suggested that the four subs he had to make at the break have left him clear over what he needs to do in the future.

He said: "I would like to make 11 (changes). I didn't make five because I was afraid of a long 45 minutes."

Before adding: "There is only one to blame, I chose the players to start.

"Tonight my future choices are going to be very easy. It is my responsibility."

Dele Alli has been hauled off at half-time twice so far this season
Dele Alli has been hauled off at half-time twice so far this season

He then said when asked about Alli specifically: ”Before matches you always ask me why this player is not playing, why this player is not playing, why this player is not selected.

“Maybe now for a few weeks you don't ask me that because you have the answer."

"We got what we deserved. We let them win, I can say that."