Eric Dier has admitted that Tottenham players spoke ahead of the Aston Villa game about showing a reaction following their North London Derby capitulation.
Trailing 3-0 inside the first 34 minutes at the Emirates before later pulling a goal back from Son Heung-min, Spurs bounced back at home to Villa to claim a much-needed 2-1 win after a dreadful September.
As important as the three points were heading into the game, it was also vital that Nuno Espirito Santo’s men delivered a strong performance in front of the home faithful.
That was very much the case in N17 and Dier has admitted that everyone at the club, not just the players, are working together to ensure the club get back to where they need to be.
“In this thing, most managers, especially top managers, always look at themselves first and I think as players we have to do that first,” said the long-serving player when asked if it was fair Espirito Santo took the blame for their bad run.
“Today that was one of our messages as players before the game, that we needed to show a reaction for ourselves, we needed to prove to ourselves that we are a lot better than we showed last weekend.
“That is really important. That is something we are working on together, that is everyone at the club not just the manager, not just the players, it is everyone together has to work, has to reflect on things as a group, improve on things as a group and really push on and take the club back to where it needs to be.”
On where Tottenham need to be after two frustrating seasons, Dier added: “We need to be challenging for European football. There has to be European football in this stadium.
“With no disrespect to the Conference League, we have to be playing above that and that is all we should be striving towards.”
Harry Kane wasn’t on the scoresheet on Sunday against Aston Villa but he did go close on a couple of occasions, including an audacious free-kick attempt from the halfway line that almost went in but for Emi Martinez’s heroics.
Yet to score in the Premier League this season despite netting six goals in all competitions for the Lilywhites, Dier has no doubts that the goals will soon start to flow for his teammate.
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“Harry will be the first to say is that the most important is the team wins. His performance was really good today,” explained the centre-back.
“It was a difficult time for everyone coming back from the last international break for lots of different reasons. Harry came back late for the start of the season because of the Euros, like quite a few players did because of the Copa America. Those players are still finding their feet, which is normal.
“Because Harry is Harry there is more attention to it than other players around the league who are experiencing it right now.
“I have no doubts about Harry’s quality or that the goals will come and when they do, they will flow.”