Dier hits back at critics as Spurs get off to a winning start at Newcastle
After failing to add to their squad over the summer, midfielder says club can make up for lack of new faces with 'our attitude, our work ethic, our desire'
13 August, 2018 — By Dan Carrier
FA Premier League
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 (Joselu 11)
SPURS 2 (Vertonghen 8, Alli 18
TOTTENHAM midfielder Eric Dier has blasted critics who say Spurs will struggle after failing to add to their squad over the summer break.
Speaking after Mauricio Pochettino’s charges got the campaign off to a winning start away at Newcastle on Saturday, the 24-year-old England international sent a rallying cry to fans, saying: “For the last three years we’ve been challenging the best teams in the country, and last year we were challenging the best teams in the Champions League with the squad that we have here today.
“The manager said it before – we’re in a fight but we’re having to use different tools. We have to try and compensate for what other clubs can do in different ways with our attitude, our work ethic, our desire. That’s what we’ll try to do and it’ll make us better. It’s a great challenge for us to shut everyone up really. We’re going to enjoy that challenge.
“We’ve got a fantastic squad here, fantastic players throughout the team in every position.”
Dier played a pivotal role in the win at St James’ Park, sealed by early goals via headers from Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli.
Dier was one of five Spurs players named in the starting XI who had only returned to the club five days previously, having been given an extended break after being at the World Cup.
But despite some signs of rustiness – talisman Harry Kane failed to create a clear chance as he led the line – Spurs had too much quality for Rafa Benetiz’s side.
Belgium centre-back Vertonghen headed home in the opening 10 minutes from a Christian Eriksen cross, but the Spurs lead lasted under two minutes. Newcastle swept forward and Matt Ricthie’s hanging cross found Spanish forward Jose “Joselu” Sanmartin unmarked. He leapt to meet the teasing pass and brought his team level.
Eight minutes later, a delightful cross by stand-in right-back Serge Aurier was met at the back post by Alli, who restored the lead.
Spurs looked dangerous in parts but also had to weather a determined effort from Newcastle, who struck the woodwork twice in the second half.
Pochettino, speaking after the game, was pleased with how his side had fared and added they would improve once they get back into their groove.
He said: “Newcastle showed massive energy and it was difficult for us, but I feel so proud. Everyone showed their commitment to the club.”
Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu, 69), Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez (Muto, 81), Joselu (Rondon, 59).
Spurs: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Sissoko, Dier (Amos, 88), Moura (Dembele, 68), Eriksen, Alli (Son, 80) Kane.