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#Men'sFirstTeam #PremierLeague #MatchReaction #Southampton #EricDier

Pride amid frustration for Eric at St Mary’s

Wed 29 December 2021, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur

On what should have been a day of celebration for Eric Dier, it was ultimately frustration come the final whistle as we were held 1-1 by Southampton on Tuesday.

At St Mary’s, Eric was making his 300th appearance for the Club, becoming just the 48th player in our Football League history to do so however, with us only able to pick up a point against the Saints, that personal milestone played second fiddle in his mind at full-time.

Having struggled in the early stages on the south coast, falling behind to James Ward-Prowse’s fizzing strike in the 25th minute, we brought it back level 16 minutes later through a Harry Kane penalty after Heung-Min Son was brought down in the box by Mohammed Salisu – the Saints defender being dismissed as a result after being shown his second yellow card.

With the man advantage, we had our chances to win the game and even had the ball in the back of the net twice in the second period, only for each of them to be ruled out by the officials. Despite our considerable efforts, the stubborn 10-man Saints ultimately held out, forcing us to settle for a point and leaving Eric disappointed on what was a landmark day for the 27-year-old.

We’ll watch the game back and try to make sure that if we find ourselves in that situation again, we’ll handle it better

Eric Dier

“We’re all disappointed we didn’t get the win, especially after they went down to 10 men,” he said. “We couldn’t break them down, and that’s disappointing.

“It wasn’t the best of performances from us. If we got the goal at the beginning of the second half (Harry Kane’s ruled out for offside) things could have been different, we could have gone on to get more, but the longer the game went on we lost our heads a bit in the way which we wanted to attack, and we weren’t as structured as we should have been.

“We couldn’t get the goal, it was difficult, and, sometimes it can be like that when you play against 10 men - if you don’t have the right intensity with the ball and the right movement off the ball, that can happen. It’s disappointing for us. We’ll watch the game back and try to make sure that if we find ourselves in that situation again, we’ll handle it better.”

Despite the frustrations at St Mary’s, it is clear that we are growing every day under Antonio Conte. In taking a point against Southampton, the result extended our unbeaten start in the league under Antonio and it saw the Italian make Spurs history as he is now our only manager in the Premier League era to remain undefeated after their first seven games.

“We’re trying to understand better and better this system every day with the manager, trying to improve and how he wants to play,” Eric discussed. “Everyone has been really receptive of his ideas and trying to put them into practice more and more. I think everyone deserves credit for the work they’ve put in and the improvements we’ve made but, at the same time, we’ve got to be realistic and know that we have a lot to improve on and get better at, and we need to work towards that.”

Reflecting on making his 300th appearance for the Club, the defender said: “It’s a very proud milestone for me - hopefully I’ll get plenty more. It’s really nice. As I said, hopefully I’ll add a lot more and keep doing better and better for this Club. It’s really nice to have reached that number and it’s something I’m very proud of and for everyone who has helped me get to this point.”

Eric on Spurs TV