The former Chelsea star wants to see an under-fire Tottenham midfielder react positively to criticism in public from his outspoken manager

Tanguy Ndombele should be looking to respond positively to Jose Mourinho’s public criticism, says Joe Cole, with the Tottenham midfielder aware that he is operating in a “grown-up’s sport”.

Spurs’ €60 million (£54m/$68m) club-record signing from the summer of 2019 has endured a testing debut campaign in English football.

Form and fitness issues have prevented him from making the expected impact, with Mourinho taking to singling the France international out for his supposed lack of contribution to the collective cause.

The outspoken Portuguese has stated that Ndombele “has to give us more than he is giving” and declared that the 22-year-old is “always injured”.

Former Chelsea star Cole knows all about Mourinho’s sharp tongue from having worked with a demanding coach at Stamford Bridge and believes controversial methods will deliver the desired response.

The ex-England international told PA Sport of the unwanted attention Ndombele has been receiving: “When it happened to me it was not a problem.

“It is a grown up’s sport. If you don’t play well or you don’t do what you are supposed to do, whether you expect to get criticised publicly or not, you need to be tough, you need to understand the nature of the beast.

“He is a young man, the right response is to knuckle down and perform.

“I saw the performance in question and if he was one of my players that would have been my stance on it.

“Whether or not I did it publicly, that is always the discussion to have with your coaching staff, what’s the benefit?

“For the young lad, this is football, it can be a tough, brutal sport at times. You’re in the limelight, but we are very lucky to do what we have to do so you have to take the rough with the smooth.”

Cole added: “Jose will know what he is doing, he will know what the lad’s character is.

“He will expect the lad to react, turn his time at Tottenham around, kick-start his career or he will expect for the lad to move on.

“It will be nothing personal but certain jobs have to be done on the pitch. Hopefully, the lad can do that.

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“At times that treatment worked on me. He gets the best out of a lot of players, that is why he has won multiple trophies at multiple clubs across Europe.

“He knows about managing people. He knows when to whip the horse and when to not and that is management.”

Ndombele has taken in 27 appearances for Tottenham across the 2019-20 campaign, but only 12 of those have been Premier League starts.

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