Eric Dier hopes Tottenham can use experience to their advantage in top-four race
Eric Dier has called on Tottenham to use their experience of last season’s successful push for a top-four finish to help them get back in the Champions League.
Spurs put a disastrous week behind them with a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday after Harry Kane’s brace was followed up by a second-half strike from Son Heung-min.
FA Cup and Champions League exits this month had increased the pressure on boss Antonio Conte, who is expected to leave the club at the end of the season, but with 11 Premier League fixtures left Tottenham have the chance of a second consecutive fourth-place finish under the Italian.
“Obviously missing that last game (through suspension) definitely hurt,” Dier told SpursPlay.
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“Those are the types of games you want to play in, but that’s football. It was nice for us to get back out there with a win and hopefully we can move on from here.
“We have to take the experience from last season and use it to our advantage.
“You know what the Premier League is like, they’ll be bumps along the way but we’ve got to try and give everything for these 11 games. We’ve got to try and give everything as a squad and as a club.
“Yeah, obviously Wednesday (against AC Milan) was a huge disappointment but at the same time it is a good motivation for us to push for that top four because those are the nights you want to be involved in football.”
A first-half double from Kane put Tottenham in control before Son grabbed his 10th goal of a below-par campaign shortly after the break.
Forest were much improved in the second half and Fraser Forster had to make key saves to deny Serge Aurier and Emmanuel Dennis before the back-up goalkeeper was partly at fault for Joe Worrall’s late consolation effort.
Forster, who has impressed since Hugo Lloris’ injury last month, atoned for his error with a fine penalty save from Andre Ayew in stoppage time to continue his fine recent form.
Dier added: “I think Fraser has made a lot of great saves recently. It is never easy to come in and to play as the second-choice keeper.
“You never know when that might happen. It comes out of nowhere and then (you have) to be in every game.
“He’s obviously got a lot of experience and he is a very assuring presence back there, so I’m very happy for him.”
Forest manager Steve Cooper was left disappointed their second-half rally was too little too late.
“First-half performance is really where the game was won and lost,” he said.
“I felt we didn’t compete well enough. Regardless of formation and players you play, those things don’t matter if you are not competing. I didn’t like us in the duals, in the one-v-ones and in the tackles.
“If anything the disallowed goal should have been the warning sign but we just weren’t good enough in the first half.”