Eric Dier believes Tottenham and England are “lucky” to have Mauricio Pochettino embracing and improving home-grown talent.
Saturday’s remarkable 3-2 win at world champions Germany will live long in the memory, with Harry Kane starting the recovery and Dier scoring the last-gasp winner after Jamie Vardy’s exceptional flick had levelled things up.
Kane and Dier were joined in the line-up by Spurs team-mates Danny Rose and Dele Alli, while fellow starters Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne also made strides under Pochettino’s management at Southampton.
The likes of Luke Shaw, Ryan Mason and Calum Chambers, amongst others, have also represented the Three Lions after being coached by the former Argentina defender, who Dier was quick to praise after the win in Germany,
“We really enjoyed it and I think all four of us put in a good performance,” he said of his Spurs team-mates.
“I am really happy for Danny Rose because I think it’s a long time coming, really.
“For me, he has been the best left-back in the Premier League this season so I am really happy he got his chance (to play for England).
“Obviously we have to be thankful for our manager as well, for being able to put us in this position by giving us a chance at our club and improving us.
“Obviously us Spurs boys know how lucky we are to have him because he’s been brilliant for us.
“He demands a lot of us, always wanting us to improve, always wanting us to be better.
“That’s what is able to put us in the position we are now so we’re obviously very grateful for him and we want to repay him.”
Spurs boss Pochettino’s decision to move Dier forwards into a defensive midfield role this season has paid dividends, so too has his trust in Alli.
Less than a year ago, the teenage midfielder was playing in League One for MK Dons – now he is favourite for the PFA Young Player of the Year award and seemingly a shoo-in for the Euro 2016 squad.
“He has been brilliant,” Dier said of Alli. “Everyone knows it, everyone has already spoken about it – he has been fantastic.
“Hopefully he will just keep working hard, keep trying to improve and you guys (in the media) don’t put too much pressure on him.
“We don’t want that but I don’t think it bothers him too much. He just enjoys himself, which is really important. I am obviously really happy for him.”
Dier’s words for Alli were not so kind on the field, albeit in jest, after missing a wonderful chance to win the match, before making amends for his friend’s miss with a stoppage-time winner.
“It was a brilliant test,” he said of coping with players likes of Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil.
“Myself and a lot of the other boys are young lads, so to play against these established players – they’re very, very good players – was brilliant, to test ourselves.
“It is very enjoyable but obviously it is going to be hard work at times because no matter how good you are, how good you play, how well you are tactically, they’re going to create chances and they are going to have opportunities.
“I think we limited them and we did well with that.”
The Berlin encounter was just Dier’s third England appearance but another impressive performance makes him a strong contender for the squad heading to France.
“Obviously that’s my aim when I get the chance is to try and do my best, to try and impress the manager for England and keep a place in the team,” he said.
“That’s always going to be my aim when I play for my club side or country.
“I know every single chance I get, every game I play, I have to do my best and put in a good performance because there are lots of good players.”
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