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Jose Mourinho has admitted that he’s always had confidence in Tanguy Ndombele’s ability – but has had doubts over both his effort and motivation at Tottenham.

The 23-year-old has endured a difficult time since making the record move from Lyon last summer, and has often been criticised by the Spurs boss.

However, Mourinho was full of praise for the Frenchman, who sparred Tottenham’s blushes in their Europa League second qualifying round victory over Bulgarian outfit Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Thursday evening.

Ndombele was not deemed fit enough to start against Everton on Sunday and once again found himself on the bench for Spurs’ Europa League tie.

However, Ndombele showed his character and turned out to be Tottenham’s hero in Bulgaria.

Replacing Moussa Sissoko with just under half an hour remaining, NdombeleĀ popped up with the winner in the 85th-minute, converting Lucas Moura’s cross from close-range for his first Spurs goal since February.

“Tanguy is in a process of evolution,” Mourinho told Football.London. “Last season he wasn’t. He was in a situation where I couldn’t see evolution. Now he’s training very, very well.

“I believe in Tanguy. Never doubted his ability but doubted his effort & motivation. Now I think he can do well for us.”

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