Tottenham’s Eric Dier opens up on ‘unfair’ criticism and sets sights on England return for Euro 2020

The Spurs defender hopes his improved form under interim boss Ryan Mason can lead to a return to the England fold this summer

Jonathan Veal
Tuesday 04 May 2021 14:48
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<p>Eric Dier started for England at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup</p>

Eric Dier started for England at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup

Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier feels he has been harshly judged for his performances this season.

Dier has made a number of costly errors that led to goals, noticeably in defeats to Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham, and received a lot of criticism for them.

Former boss Jose Mourinho chopped and changed him from the team and also said he was suffering from a lack of confidence - something that Dier later denied.

However, the England international has found himself back in the side under interim boss Ryan Mason and has looked much more assured.

“I’m really happy to have played the last three. I’ve felt good in those games,” the 27-year-old said. “I want to be playing, I want to be performing to a level I know I can.

“I believe I can still perform to a much higher level. I’m happy to be playing, obviously, and I’ve just got to keep working hard and improving.

“I’ve got mixed emotions towards it really. At times, I feel like it’s a bit unfair and a bit... I’m trying to think of the right words... but sometimes I’ve made a mistake or something has led to a goal and one mistake is talked about like it’s four or five. I’ve felt that at times.

“As defenders, you’re always going to make mistakes at times and the most important thing is how you react to them.

“I think fans have seen what I can do in glimpses, especially at the beginning of the season. I think I had a very good first six months and it dropped a little bit for a few games. But I feel like I’ve been back to a good place for a couple of months now.

“Just the narrative I see that is painted of me, at times. It doesn’t really bother me too much. I just think it’s a bit unfair at times. It’s football.

“I just need to worry about myself and keep trying to do better. But I’m my own biggest critic and I know where I can improve and when I can improve.”

Dier’s patchy form saw him left out of England’s side for the most recent World Cup qualifiers, but the centre-half is determined to be involved in this summer’s Euro 2020.

“I’ve always said the most important thing is focusing on the present, game by game, constantly trying to perform at a good level,” he said.

“But obviously I want to be going to the Euros, so I have to keep performing well in order to give myself that opportunity.”

PA

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