Eric Dier: 100 per cent we believe in Nuno Espirito Santo’s plan for Tottenham


or Nuno Espirito Santo, the most encouraging aspect of a vital, morale-boosting 2-1 win over Aston Villa was Tottenham’s reaction to conceding a second-half equaliser.

Nuno has been particularly concerned with his side’s inability to respond to setbacks this season after they collapsed in the defeats by Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal during a wretched September.

So when Ollie Watkins ghosted behind Eric Dier to tap in at the near post on Sunday, cancelling out Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s first-half strike, it was natural to wonder if Spurs would crumble again.

Instead, within four minutes they were back in front through a Matt Targett own goal after superb work by Heung-min Son, the game’s standout player.

The response validated much of Nuno’s work on the training ground in the past fortnight and suggested this is a Spurs squad still very much listening to and fighting for their under-pressure head coach.

“The way we reacted to the 1-1 was really important,” Dier told Standard Sport. “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.

“100 per cent we believe [in the manager’s plan]. We have to keep calm. We had a tough couple of weeks under difficult circumstances. We were missing a lot of players, 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 disappointing. It’s early days, I think the performance yesterday 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 [about the circumstances], 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 noting to do with the manager.”

Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I
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