'We earned respect that day' - Eric on City
11 February 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
When the dust settles on the 2015-16 season in May, how important will what happened at approximately 1.30pm on Saturday, September 26 be in the greater scheme of things?
In many ways, it could be the most important moment of the season and without question, the moment that helped the team show exactly what it was capable of in the early part of the season.
The moment, of course, was Eric Dier’s equaliser in the final minute of the first half against City at the Lane. It inspired a comeback that resulted in a convincing 4-1 win and, as Eric explains, instilled a sense of confidence within the camp and a sense of respect outside it.
“It was certainly a turning point in that game, scoring a goal just before half-time always helps and it gave us a real boost that day,” reflected Eric as we prepare to meet City again, this time at the Etihad on Sunday (4.15pm).
“I was so pleased to score it and it changed the feeling in the dressing room at half-time, so that was massive for us and to go on and win how we did was a big point in the season."
Below: 90IN90 - highlights of the 4-1 win - including Eric's goal
Eric drilled a loose ball in off the post from 25 yards. “The first thought that crossed my mind was to stop their potential counter-attack!” he recalled. “Then I realised I had more time than I thought.
“I thought I was going in for a tackle to begin with but I had the time to get there and strike it. I just thought ‘hit it’ and it went right in the corner. It was perfect!
“We ran out comfortable winners in the end and it was a really dominant performance.
"We earned a lot of respect after that game and people started taking notice.”
Eric’s emotions were certainly running high when he spoke to Spurs TV afterwards.
"We don’t get the credit we deserve," he said at the time, to much acclaim from our fans. "We’re an extremely young squad and I hear people say stuff about Tottenham and I don’t like it. I don’t think the other lads like it either. Today we’ve proved lots of people wrong."
Below: Eric's post-match interview on Spurs TV
He’s smiling now though. “It was a bit in the heat of the moment but I just felt a lot of criticism at that time was a bit unfair,” he said.
“We’ve proved ourselves now and we have to keep on proving ourselves.
“We train hard every day and the only aim is to improve. We’re all young and we all want to keep on improving. Hugo Lloris is one of the most experienced players here but he always wants to improve and wants to get better and that’s the perfect example for everyone to follow.
“We’re all young but we don’t want any excuses like ‘they’re young, they won’t be able to handle it’ so we work hard every day to try and improve as individual players and as a team and the manager won’t settle for anything less.”