Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has praised defender Eric Dier for his performance during the club’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United in the Premier League last weekend.

The England international is one of the Lilywhites players who has attracted a lot of criticism this season as the club have struggled to reach the heights of previous campaigns.

Tottenham man Dier is also now at serious risk of being overlooked as a first-team regular for England ahead of the European Championships next season following the emergence of West Ham’s Declan Rice.

Dier was also one of the Spurs players who was singled out for criticism following the North Londoners’ draw against a spirited Blades side.

“You know it’s difficult [to play with a yellow card],” Pochettino told Football London.

“You know I was a centre-back and I loved to play with a yellow card from the beginning. In the first 10 minutes, I always received a yellow card and then played better and more relaxed.

“But I think Eric Dier had a very good game. In this action, it was an action that I explained before where we struggled a bit in the first half, all the first balls and all the second balls were for them. They were more aggressive and more focused.

“We were a little sloppy in this action, he was tried to cover down the side and of course made the foul and it was too much the yellow card in the first minute of the game. I thought he handled it very well for the 90 minutes with the yellow card.”

Spurs appear to be a side lacking motivation and team spirit.

Tottenham find themselves in 14th place on the Premier League standings and are already 11 points adrift of fourth place Manchester City.

Pochettino’s troops will not challenge for the league title this season. In addition to this, attaining a top-four finish also looks like a tough ask at this moment in time.

The North London club currently finds themselves closer to the relegation zone than to the table-topping Liverpool.

Perhaps the fact that a number of Spurs first-team players want out could be hampering the team spirit.

The likes of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen are three who have been strongly linked with Tottenham exits during recent transfer windows but who have stayed nonetheless.

In the case of Eriksen, he has openly admitted that he wants a new challenge at this stage of his career.


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