Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho condemned Eric Dier following his altercation with a supporter in the stands after Spurs’ FA Cup exit to Norwich, but understands why he did it.
In the aftermath of the penalty shootout defeat to the Canaries, Dier climbed into the lower tier of the West Stand and confronted a fan, who is alleged to have been arguing with his brother.
Footage has gone viral on social media and England international Dier is set to come under investigation from the Football Association.
Mourinho said: “I think Eric Dier did something that we professionals cannot do but in these circumstances every one of us would do.
“Because when somebody insults you, and your family is there, and you get involved with the person that is insulting you, in this case a younger brother, I think Eric did what we professionals cannot do.
“But I repeat, probably everyone of us would do. I repeat, we professionals we cannot do, but I repeat I am with the player and I understand the player.
“This person insulted Eric, his family was there. The young brother was not happy with the situation and then Eric, I repeat (he) did what we professionals cannot do, but did something that probably we would do.”
The incident happened in the area behind the dugouts, which is a corporate section, and Mourinho has criticised it for not housing “real Tottenham fans”.
“The people that are in these privileged positions by the tunnel,” he added.
“Of course some are Tottenham fans but I think a lot of corporate, a lot of invitation, a lot of people with special status and probably it’s the place of the stadium where I sometimes have doubts over if they are the real Tottenham fans because these are the ones who support the boys until the last.”
It was an unsavoury end to a disappointing night as Spurs’ season was plunged into more despair.
The FA Cup was their only real chance of silverware remaining with their Premier League top-four hopes stuttering and their Champions League chances hanging in the balance.
The game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes as Jan Vertonghen’s early opener was cancelled out by Josip Drmic’s leveller, which came after a howler by Michel Vorm.
Vorm was making his first appearance since October 2018 in which time he was released by Spurs before rejoining and he inexplicably dropped Kenny McLean’s tame shot from distance, allowing Drmic a tap-in.
Mourinho said: “Michel is not going to be upset with me because Michel is such an incredible guy and such an experienced boy, of course it’s a Michel mistake. We cannot run away from this but we are all together.”
Norwich boss Daniel Farke was delighted with his side’s performance, after the club reached their first FA Cup quarter-final since 1992.
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A huge thank-you for your incredible support on this historic night for Norwich City FC 💛💚 pic.twitter.com/JhfTlCqBpu
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) March 4, 2020
The German said: “We created something special today because I think it’s the biggest success in Norwich City’s FA Cup history for nearly 30 years. To go through this round and to do this was a fantastic performance.
“(It is) such a difficult away ground here, Tottenham, and to be there in the end with a win feels great and I’m delighted for my lads.
“I’m pretty happy with the performance, I’m also delighted for all our supporters and for everyone who is connected with Norwich City because we showed a great unity, a great spirit and it was a great performance.
“I totally got the feeling that we deserved to have this amazing win for our club, and for that we are all pretty happy.”