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Ireland's Troy Parrott says he took Jose Mourinho's comments 'on the chin'

The Dubliner saw it as ‘helpful advice’ before he secured a loan move to Millwall.

Troy Parrott, who is now on loan at Millwall, with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho.
Troy Parrott, who is now on loan at Millwall, with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho.
Image: Jonathan Brady

IRELAND STRIKER TROY Parrott says he took Jose Mourinho’s comments ‘on the chin’ when the Tottenham boss said he wasn’t ready for the Premier League.

18-year-old Parrott recently signed a season-long loan deal at Millwall after finding his opportunities limited at Spurs.

While the Dubliner made his international debut at the age of 17 last November and made his Premier League bow in December after coming off the bench against Burnley, he struggled for game time at the London outfit.

He made just one more top-flight appearance as a substitute, even though injuries to regular attackers Harry Kane and Son Heung-min looked to pave the way for more minutes for the youngster.

“He’s not ready” Mourinho said of Parrott on several occasions.

“He’s a good kid, a good talent, he’s a kid we want to help,” the Portuguese added after handing the teenager his second brief league appearance off the bench against Wolves in March. 

“He’s a kid who needs help, not just on the pitch but off it. He’s a kid we’re going to take care of like we have since the beginning. And he’s a kid who is obviously going to have a real opportunity in the right moment when we feel it is the moment.

Those comments did not upset Parrott. They weren’t a blow. They were indeed “helpful,” as he told the News at Den website after being loaned to Championship outfit Millwall.

To be fair, he’s such an experienced manager and he’s done nearly everything in the game, so if he feels like that’s right then there must be some truth in it and I had to take it on the chin,” Parrott, who signed a contract extension with Spurs until 2023 in February, said.

“I knew I just had to keep my head down in training and keep working hard. And getting this loan now is hopefully going to help me improve and push on.

“There were little conversations that were being had [at Spurs]. I was speaking to coaching staff and players finding out what I needed to do to be better.

“Because obviously Mourinho has worked with some of the best strikers there’s ever been, to get advice off him was great.

I knew what I needed to do. It was helpful advice.”

Now under the stewardship of Gary Rowett at the Lions, Parrott says the former Birmingham, Derby and Stoke manager played a big part in his decision. Advice from his Ireland team-mate Jason Molumby — who spent last year on loan at the club from Brighton — also helped.

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troy Parrott has been enjoying life at Millwall. Source: Millwall FC.

Spurs firmly believe that Rowett can help Parrott, who had loan interest from plenty of other clubs, develop the next stage of his career.

He trusted his instincts and the man at the helm in committing his immediate future to Millwall, who finished just two points outside the play-off places in last year’s Championship table.

“I just felt like I could trust him from the start,” Parrott said of Rowett. “I had a good gut feeling. I liked the way he explained the way the club worked, how everyone is together and how the team plays.

“I kind of bought into it and into him straightaway. That’s really why I made the decision to come to Millwall.

I spoke to Gary probably twice before anything was agreed and I just had that gut feeling that it was the right place for me to go. I obviously spoke to Jayson Molumby a lot about the club, he told me only good things.

“There were so many different factors that I had to take into account before I came. There were so many different things, but again the main thing for me was feeling comfortable and that sense of togetherness that Millwall has. That’s what made it for me.”

“I watched last season and I saw how well they did,” the former Belvedere star added. “I don’t see why we can’t push on even more this season and get into those play-off positions.

“I was looking at the quality that they had, and when I met Gary it just sealed it for me.” 

He now follows in the footsteps of Kane, who moved to Millwall on loan from Spurs in 2012 also at the age of 18, scoring nine goals in 27 games. That didn’t play a “massive part” in the decision to move to The Den, Parrott assured.

“I’m looking forward to the season and hopefully the fans can get back into the stadium. So far the training has all been spot on and I’m loving it at the moment.”

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Emma Duffy

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