Jose Mourinho has killed off suggestions of a problem with Tanguy Ndombele (left) after the midfielder indicated he didn’t want to play on Boxing Day. Photo:

Jose Mourinho has killed off suggestions of a problem with Tanguy Ndombele after the midfielder indicated he didn’t want to play on Boxing Day.

Ndombele, the club’s £54million record signing, told Mourinho on Christmas Day that he didn’t want to be considered for the clash against Brighton due to fitness concerns.

Ndombele’s decision to rule himself out has raised questions over the midfielder’s future, given Mourinho’s infamous hardline demands of his players. But the Tottenham boss insists he respects Ndombele’s honesty and is not ruling the 22-year-old Frenchman out of today’s clash against Norwich. Mourinho said: ‘Football players like to play football. For him to say I don’t feel confident, I don’t feel in the best condition due to my previous injuries, he was just being honest.

I hope after training he can come back to me and say, “I’m ready to help the team”.’

With Chelsea not playing until tomorrow, victory at Carrow Road will see Spurs go fourth.

Mourinho added: ‘I started with minus 12 here.

‘It’s very difficult to recover a distance of 12 points. If we’re in contact, we’re in contact.

‘At this moment we’re minus three. Now it’s hard. The players they feel it. But we go for it.’

Daily Mail