Jose Mourinho accused Dele Alli of “creating problems for his own team” in Tottenham’s 3-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Stoke City.
Alli, making his first start since 26 November, gave the ball away from which Stoke went on to score.
“A player in that position is a player that has to link and create and not to create problems for his own team,” said Mourinho.
Alli has been linked with a loan move to Paris St-Germain in January.
The England midfielder has managed just five starts in 2020-21 and has twice been replaced at half-time against Everton and, in the Europa League, Royal Antwerp.
In September, Mourinho suggested the 24-year-old needed to improve, saying at the time: “It’s important for him to perform.”
On Wednesday, Spurs were leading 1-0 through Gareth Bale’s flicked header when Stoke equalised after Alli’s mistake before goals by Ben Davies and Harry Kane saw off the Championship team.
Alli was substituted soon after Stoke equalised.
Speaking about Stoke’s equaliser, Mourinho said: “In that situation, an objective counter-attack would probably end with a goal, and it ended with a counter-attack behind our defenders.
“We were unbalanced because when you are in possession you have full-backs out wide and another midfielder in a different line and they caught us in a counter-attack and they transformed the result of the game that was totally in our hands, so yes I am upset.”
Mourinho said Bale suffered a calf injury which is why the Wales forward did not appear at the start of the second half.
‘Alli needs a change’
Former Crystal Palace and Republic of Ireland striker Clinton Morrison believes Alli needs a change – and a manager “who loves him”.
Morrison, who was at the Stoke tie for BBC Radio 5 Live, added: “Dele Alli is a talented boy but I think there comes a time where a player needs a change.
“He tries a flick and Jose Mourinho goes out to the touch line and says ‘your flick has cost us that goal’ – there’s going to be more to that. Jose is not happy.
“He’s a confidence player and he needs a manager to love him and I don’t think Jose Mourinho is loving him at the moment.
“That’s why he’s not involved in a lot of Spurs games in the Premier League. But there’s no doubt he’s a talented player.”