TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Dele Alli has the mental strength to deal with his Fifa rap.
The Spurs midfielder has been banned for one England match after his middle-finger gesture during the 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia this month.
Dele, 21, misses Thursday’s penultimate Group F clash with Slovenia at Wembley.
Pochettino said: “Does Dele have the mental strength to handle this? Yes of course. He’s more mature today. I think you can feel the same.
“He’s not the kid who arrived three years ago.
“A lot of things have happened in that period and he’s mature enough to deal with the situation.”
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate insisted Dele aimed the gesture at pal Kyle Walker, who left Spurs for Manchester City in July.
But Fifa ruled the incident, caught on TV cameras, to be “offensive and unsporting” and also fined him £3,852.
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Former Spurs ace Gary Lineker tweeted: “Dele Alli gets one game for one finger. Just as well he didn’t give the V sign.”
Dele is also serving a three-match Euro ban at Spurs for a red card in last season’s Europa League.
⚽ Ian Wright’s Premier League Tips ⚽
Former striker Ian Wright selects his top tips for Saturday’s action.
“Romelu Lukaku has started exactly as you’d want a £75m signing to start.
“Not only has he scored a load of goals but he’s also silenced those questioning his link-up play and the first touch.
“He’s the only player in my mind when it comes to the first goalscorer market – and I fancy United to get loads againsrt Crystal Palace.”