No blame for Nuno, as Dier names tactic which will transform Tottenham fortunes

Eric Dier, Ollie Watkins Tottenham v Aston Villa October 2021

Tottenham defender Eric Dier says that his team-mates fully believe in manager Nuno Espirito Santo, following a refreshing win over Aston Villa.

Spurs came into Sunday’s Premier League contest in north London off the back of three successive league defeats. What’s more, they conceded nine goals and scored only one in that run.

A draw and a victory in Europa Conference League action did not look like it had contributed to their fortunes, either.

Nevertheless, Tottenham ended their barren league form with a 2-1 victory over Villa. Ollie Watkins equalised after Son Heung-min’s opener, but Matt Targett’s own goal put the hosts back in front.

Nuno has faced calls for the sack amid his side’s recent lack of results. Speaking to the Evening Standard, though, Dier said that his side fully believe in the Portuguese’s plan.

Still, starting the second half of games better is one tactic the side must focus on, Dier added.

“The way we reacted to the 1-1 was really important,” the 27-year-old said.

“We maybe could have started the second half better, it is something we still need to improve on but the reaction to the 1-1 was fantastic and we really put our foot on the gas and created a lot of chances and got the goal.

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“One hundred per cent we believe [in the manager’s plan]. We have to keep calm, we had a tough couple of weeks under difficult circumstances.

“We were missing a lot of players, we went to Crystal Palace – injuries, sending offs, we really lost our balance there – and then we had two disappointing results.”

The 3-0 defeat to Palace marked the start of Tottenham’s recent poor league form.

Still, Chelsea compounded it with their own 3-0 win, before another London rivalry loss to Arsenal.

Dier backs Tottenham to improve

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks (right) and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka after The Mind Series match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

The Chelsea result did not reflect the game at all, we performed really well, especially in the first half and then the Arsenal game we were very disappointing,” Dier said.

“It’s early days, I think the performance yesterday was the best of the season and that shows a real reaction from the players. The players needed to show that reaction.

“For me it doesn’t really matter [about the circumstances], as players we have to perform and there are some levels you can’t drop below and we definitely did last weekend and that has nothing to do with the manager.”

Tottenham headed into the international break eighth in the Premier League table, two points behind the top four.

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