Tottenham’s ‘real reaction’ against Aston Villa impresses Eric Dier

Spurs racked up 17 shots in a 2-1 victory

Jonathan Veal
Monday 04 October 2021 12:00
<p>Eric Dier, left, helped Tottenham beat Villa</p>

Eric Dier, left, helped Tottenham beat Villa

Eric Dier believes Tottenham Hotspur showed the right reaction to their recent slump in their 2-1 win over Aston Villa

Spurs ended a three-game losing streak against Villa, thanks to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s opener and Matt Targett’s own goal.

It had been a tough time for them as back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Crystal Palace and Chelsea were followed by a humiliating 3-1 north London derby loss to Arsenal which left boss Nuno Espirito Santo coming under early pressure.

But Nuno’s men put that right on Sunday, producing their best performance of the campaign, which saw them rack up 17 shots.

Dier says the display at the Emirates Stadium was unacceptable, but said they responded in the right way.

“We have to keep calm, we had a tough couple of weeks, under difficult circumstances, we were missing a lot of players,” Dier said. “We went to Crystal Palace, injuries, sending offs, we really lost our balance there and then we had two disappointing results.

“The Chelsea result did not reflect the game at all, we performed really well, especially in the first half and then the Arsenal game we were very disappointed. It’s early days, I think the performance today was the best of the season and that shows a real reaction from the players.

“The players needed to show that reaction. For me it doesn’t really matter, as players we have to perform and there are some levels you can’t drop below and we definitely did last weekend and that has nothing to do with the manager.”

Spurs passed an important test as Villa, who were being outplayed, levelled through Ollie Watkins with 22 minutes remaining, but the hosts rallied and regained the lead just three minutes later.

Dier added: “I think the way we reacted to the 1-1 was really important. That reaction was great and we really put our foot on the gas.

“Looking at it from the other side, we maybe could have started the second half better, it is something we still need to improve on but the reaction to the 1-1 was fantastic and we really put our foot on the gas and created a lot of chances and got the goal.”

It's early days, I think the performance today was the best of the season and that shows a real reaction from the players

Eric Dier

Prior to the Villa game Spurs were at the bottom of the table for shots on goal and chances created from open play, but they went some way to putting that right.

Dier says that results are the most important thing.

“Results are always going to be the most important thing for anyone. Whatever style you play results are the most important thing and that won’t change,” he said.

“Obviously we want to be winning football matches and playing good football like we did today. That takes time, we are just at the beginning of a new phase, under a new manager, it is still early and those things take time to implement.

“We are definitely working towards that, today we showed that against a very good Aston Villa side.”

Villa’s equaliser was Watkins’ first goal of the season after a patchy start and boss Dean Smith said it will do him good.

“He’s been frustrated with the chances he hasn’t taken over the last few weeks,” Smith said. “He missed the start of the season with injuries. That goal will do him the world of good.

“He’s frustrated despite scoring because he’s on the losing team. There wasn’t an awful lot between the two teams today.”

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