London (AFP) – Jose Mourinho says some Tottenham fans who are demanding that Troy Parrott gets game time do not even know what the teenager looks like.
Mourinho has come under mounting pressure to play the 18-year-old Irishman with Spurs are shorn of any other recognised strikers, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min out injured.
Parrott is a prolific scorer at youth level and has already played for the Republic of Ireland, but has yet to play a full 90 minutes of senior football.
Mourinho has regularly repeated his message that Parrott is not ready to come in and replace Kane or Son.
“This is a world where lots of people, they don’t even know if Troy has long hair or short hair,” said Mourinho.
“Or is blonde or is dark. They don’t even know that and speak about: Troy, Troy, Troy, Troy, he should play.
“There was a guy behind me on the bench the other day: ‘Play Troy, play Troy.’ I don’t think he knows Troy.”
Mourinho did play Parrott that day, but only for the last few minutes of the 3-2 defeat to Wolves.
He was sent to play for the under-23s on Monday with a clear message to prove why he is ahead of his young team-mates and Mourinho said he was delighted with his 45-minute performance.
“I told him before the game, every time you play with the kids of your age, you have to show your colleagues why you are the privileged one,” he said.
“Why you are training in the first team every day and some of them are not — they are still in the group age. Because it was something that he was not doing.”
Mourinho said Parrott was on a learning curve.
“So I think Troy will come even stronger and stronger when everything happens step by step. And not immediately,” he said.
“So tomorrow if he plays and he scores the winning goal, and he is the back page of your newspapers, nothing changes. The next week he goes again to play for the U23s. Everything is a process.”
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