England call-up has saved my World Cup dreams, says Tottenham defender Eric Dier

·2-min read
England call-up has saved my World Cup dreams, says Tottenham defender Eric Dier

Tottenham defender Eric Dier says feared his hopes for playing for England at the upcoming World Cup were over before his call-up to the latest squad.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate this week after an 18-month absence, recalled Dier for the Nations League double-header against Italy and Germany, the last two games before the World Cup starts in Qatar in November.

Having been ever-present in Antonio Conte’s resurgent Spurs side, the central defender admits that this was his last chance to make the squad.

“Obviously, yeah, if I wasn’t in this [squad], then I think [that I’d have missed the World Cup],” Dier told reporters after Saturday’s 6-2 win over Leicester. “It’s been a nice week. It would have been better if we had won in Lisbon, but it’s been a good week and a nice way to finish it off here.”

Discussing his contact with Southgate during his exile, Dier added: “I spoke to him once and, as I said, I was focussing on what’s in my control and that’s playing for Tottenham.”

Dier’s return comes just after he scored his second goal of the season in Tottenham’s thrashing of Leicester, which leaves Spurs in third place after an unbeaten start to the season, and the defender feels grateful to his club for getting him back in England contention.

“Honestly, it wasn’t really what I was thinking about [playing for England],” he added. “I was just thinking about trying to be as good a player as I could be for Tottenham and then everything else that happens as a consequence as that will happen, but I think that’s the only thing I had to focus on.

“It was the only thing that was in my control and then everything else that happens, happens. For me, I’m just very thankful for the way my team-mates, manager and coaching staff, everyone around at Tottenham, has supported me and pushed me, and tried to help me to get back to the national team.

Eric Dier has two goals this season. (REUTERS)
Eric Dier has two goals this season. (REUTERS)

“I’m just looking forward to going. As my manager said during the week, for me, it’s my ambition for this to be a starting point for me. I think I can still do a lot more.”

It was also a good end to the week for Son Heung-min, who ended his goal drought with a hat-trick off the bench, and Dier was sure to single out his team-mate’s performance.

“He was great, everyone’s really happy for him,” Dier added about his teammate.

“It’s no secret he’s had a difficult start to the season, not scoring, but we’re so happy that he came on, helped the team in the way he did and to get a hat-trick, and hopefully the floodgates are open for him now.”