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Mourinho: Dele earned start, Spurs’ depth set to be tested

Fulham had to swallow a bitter defeat to Tottenham after Josh Maja's equalizer was taken off the board for a controversial handball.

Jose Mourinho started Harry Kane, Gareth Bale, Heung-min Son, and Dele Alli together for the first time this Premier League season in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 defeat of Fulham at Craven Cottage on Thursday.

Son set up Dele for a shot that turned into a Tosin Adarabioyo own goal for the match’s lone marker, with Bale and Dele getting the hook in the 67th minute.

[ MORE: Three things from Fulham - Tottenham ]

Mourinho said the lineup was down to form and rest, saying he has an octet of attacking threats to balance between the starters, Carlos Vinicius, Steven Bergwijn, Erik Lamela, and Giovani Lo Celso.

Here are the Tottenham boss’ thoughts on the quadruple threat are as follows, via Football.London:

“I like them all, and Vinicius and Bergwijn and was not even on the bench,” Mourinho said. “We have this group of eight players for these attacking positions and I like them all so it depends on the moment. It depends on the work, it depends on the match plan and the position, the accumulation of matches.”

“The previous two matches it was Lucas that was starting and he needs a rest. We could feel him coming in the last 20 minutes could give elevation to the team. The squad is working really well, it is a normal situation to give players time, we had guys on the bench, we have a good squad and I have to use it because it is very hard.”

Dele and Bale are finding form at a good time, with Tottenham needing goals on two fronts. Crystal Palace is next before Spurs’ Europa League tie with Dinamo Zagreb is broken up by a North London derby.

Wonder what Zinedine Zidane thinks?

Spurs will be no more than five points back of fourth-place depending on the Liverpool-Chelsea result. We’re in for a fun finish to the top four fight.

Follow @NicholasMendola