Eric Dier has claimed that conceding a penalty right at the end of the first half did not change Jose Mourinho’s half-time team talk since Tottenham had quite a poor first half even before Leicester took the lead.
After managing just one point against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, the game against Leicester at home was a good opportunity for Spurs to get back on track but the performance was extremely lacklustre.
Although Tottenham looked a little more threatening towards the end of the first half, they went 1-0 down just before half-time after Serge Aurier gave away a needless penalty with a rash challenge on Wesley Fofana.
However, Dier refused to lay too much blame on Aurier and insisted that Mourinho’s men simply did not get going in the first 45 minutes.
When asked about the late penalty before the interval, the central defender told Football.London: “It’s very soon after the game. Serge will be disappointed, any player is when they give away a penalty.
“At half-time we just had to regroup, we knew the first half wasn’t good enough with or without the ball. The conversation at half-time would’ve been the same [without the goal] because of the quality of our first half.
“So I don’t think it changed the conversation at half-time, the goal. I don’t think we did enough to score.
“Yes, the first half was very poor from us. When you’re playing like that, to not concede is the most important thing.
“To play as badly as we did in the first half and not concede until the end was lucky. We could only play better in the second half but we concede the goal right before half-time.
“But as I said we weren’t good enough in the first half anyway, so the goal was disappointing but it didn’t really change anything. Second half we did better.”
Dier also acknowledged that the Tottenham stars’ attitude was not good enough yesterday afternoon.
He said: “We had some great results, we were in a good place. Crystal Palace was a difficult game, Liverpool we lost at the end.
“In both of those games, I wouldn’t really question the commitment, the attitude or our desire. But this game I felt was different to that.”
The result saw Tottenham fall outside the top four spots but Dier insisted that the players cannot afford to dwell on it too much longer, with a crucial Carabao Cup quarter-final clash against Stoke City coming up on Wednesday.
The England international added: “We’ve got to bounce back quick. We’ve got two days to prepare for Stoke, so our energy has to turn there.
“It’s a great chance for us to get in a semi-final of the competition so we have to be ready for that.
“If we want to be competitive this season, we have to bounce back quickly from bad results.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Dier certainly has a point when he says the first-half performance from Tottenham left a lot to be desired even disregarding the goal that we conceded. However, Leicester still did not ever look like carving us open before the interval and we seemed to be coming into the game in the final 15 to 20 minutes of the half.
We conceded the goal at the worst possible time and the goal certainly changed our approach to the second half. It meant that Leicester could afford to sit deep, absorb pressure and pick us off on the counter-attack, while we had no option but to commit bodies forward and leaving gaping holes at the back.
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