José Mourinho believes Eric Dier will overcome crisis of confidence
Spurs manager says centre-back’s dip in form not connected to him being overplayed
Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier in action against Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi during Spurs’s 1-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images
José Mourinho believes that Eric Dier is enduring a crisis of confidence but he has backed a player he considers as one of his mainstays to emerge from it.
Dier was partly at fault for the opening goal in Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat by Liverpool two weeks ago and he was dropped by Mourinho for the next game – the 1-0 loss at Brighton. After conceding the penalty in the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea, he was again left out for Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Brom.
Dier has played in 19 of Spurs’s 22 Premier League games this season and, for much of it, he has been considered as the number one selection at centre-half, with Mourinho having moved him back into the position from defensive midfield last season.
Mourinho admitted that he committed a “crime” in starting Dier twice in 48 hours last September – against Newcastle in the league and Chelsea in the League Cup – but he does not believe the dip in form is connected to overplaying him.
“Players have moments,” Mourinho said. “They can be very good, they can be strong personalities, they can be experienced, they can cope with a mistake but in the end, they are men. And they feel more than anyone else these little moments of confidence, of crisis.
“I have to admit that recently our team makes little important mistakes that are punished in terms of our results. And Eric was there, he was one of them. They feel it. And I believe confidence, that drops a little bit.
“But great personality, a team guy, as happy as we were when we won on Sunday. A guy that loves it here, a guy that is loved by the team-mates, a guy that I trust, a guy that I consider one of the ones. And he will be back to normality and his normality is to play and be solid.”
Mourinho must decide whether to recall Dier for Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Everton, where he hopes to have Dele Alli on the bench after a tendon injury. Alli, the subject of transfer talk last month, has not been involved with the squad since January 13th but he returned to training on Monday. Serge Aurier is 50-50 with a muscular problem while Sergio Reguilón and Giovani Lo Celso remain out.