After losing our central midfield duo of Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks to injury at the end of the first half, Eric pushed on to team up with substitute Mousa in the engine room – a throwback to the pair’s tandem excellence in that area last season.
Indeed, Eric was the one who popped up with our opening goal midway through the season half before Heung-Min Son wrapped up a 2-0 victory with 13 minutes remaining at a notoriously difficult place to go.
The match also saw Kieran make a happy return to the club at which he spent four years before joining us in June, 2015, with the right-back handed his second league start of the season.
Here’s what the players had to say to us after the game…
On teaming up with Eric Dier in central midfield
“He’s a very good player and everyone knows that. We work well together, he’s an amazing player, he does it in midfield, in defence and it’s so easy for him to adapt – but of course it’s not easy at all. If Winksy plays, Victor, it’s so easy for me because they all have unbelievable quality so, no matter who plays, we have a solid team.”
On his introduction at the end of the first half
“We knew it was going to be difficult, they have a good record here and we played well. It was difficult at the start because the way they play isn’t easy. We had to change a few things at half-time, the way we had to play, so it was all positive.”
On change of formation to 4-2-3-1 at the interval
“The thing is, we’ve played in different formations and that’s an advantage for us. We knew how to play and we adapted very quickly.”
On team togetherness for the run-in
“The mentality is there and now we all hope for the biggest things. We have nine games to go, it’s very positive and this win is so important because not many teams win at Burnley.”
On returning to his former club
“Burnley did a lot for me so I was excited when I found out I was starting. Of course, I just wanted to get the three points. I almost walked into the home dressing room… no, only joking! It was strange but I’m a Spurs player and my mind was set on getting the three points.”
On the outcome
“It was a huge win. We’ve all seen Burnley’s home record here at Turf Moor. It was difficult in the first half, they pressed us but we regrouped at half-time, scored two vital goals in the second half and kept a big clean sheet. They score plenty of goals here and have won plenty of points. Before the game we knew how difficult it was going to be, obviously I know the players well and knew what they’d do. It’s a big result for us and now we move on to Swansea.”
On overcoming the loss of Wanyama and Winks
“We’ve been playing 3-5-2 for a bit now so with losing Victor and Winksy, you could see the players who we could bring off the bench in Sonny, Mousa Dembele and Moussa Sissoko and they all did very well. It shows the strength in the squad and winning at places like Burnley is massive, it’s a huge win for us. We have a great squad, the lads on the bench, the lads not even in the squad – they all deserve a mention because together we’re a team and that’s our strength. We’re one big squad with that spirit.”
On the task of winning
“It was tough from the start. This is one of the hardest places to come in the Premier League and we then had two setbacks in the first half with Harry and Victor and that made it even tougher so to come away with the win and in the way we did it was fantastic.”
On Harry Winks’ injury
“Those sorts of things are horrible and they have to go to the back of your mind. Everyone was really disappointed for Winksy and we’re all thinking of him, hopefully he’s okay. We don’t know right now, we hope he’s okay because he’s a fantastic young player. No-one deserves that and especially a young player like him.”
What was said at half-time?
“Everyone was calm, the manager re-organised us because we’d lost the two players and then it was a case of keeping the same attitude we had in the first half. I thought we fought really well and played some good football, we continued that in the second half and thankfully got the two goals.”
Thoughts on the game
“It’s a tough place to come and they made it difficult for us, especially in the first half. We had to fight but once we scored that first goal it was a relief and then we had to hold on. In the first half they disrupted our flow and made it difficult for us to get going but in the second half we knew we had to put a performance in to get the three points. It’s all about results really, not just performances – everyone sticking together and not giving anything away when a team is putting us under pressure. We matched them for everything and deserved the three points.”
On finding a way through
“In the first half they were organised and made it difficult for us, closed the space and there was nowhere to go at times. In the second half the change of system just allowed us to play with a bit more freedom, a bit more movement and we showed when you get people like Christian on the ball what a benefit it is to the team.”
On his own run of form
“When you get a run of games you’re obviously confident and that’s how I was today. It wasn’t pretty at times but it’s all about the result and fighting to the end. We’re focusing on finishing as high as possible and any time Chelsea drop points, we have to be ready to capitalise.”