Antonio Conte has admitted that having Eric Dier back to full fitness is big boost for his side, admitting that the centre-back is an important player for Tottenham.
Dier has been the man that Conte has entrusted to command the backline from the central sweeper role in the back three, and the England international has certainly delivered.
Spurs missed his organisation skills and leadership qualities in their last two defeats against Southampton and Wolves, with some of the decision making in the Lilywhites’ backline leaving a lot to be desired.
Dier will return to action against Manchester City this evening (The Evening Standard) and Conte admitted that he is pleased to finally be able to start the 28-year-old alongside Cristian Romero – luxury that he has not had too often.
When asked about Dier’s return, the Tottenham boss told Football.London: “This is good news and important news for us, as you know very well Eric Dier is an important player for us as he has a strong personality, good quality and is strong physically.
“He is an important player for me. Tomorrow for the second time since I arrived in the league they are going to play together, Eric Dier and Cristian Romero.
“For one reason or another, they were not able to start together. Tomorrow it will be a good game also because the game is difficult and we need Eric to play and also Cristian.”
Conte also stated that Tottenham do not have any illusions regarding the difficulty of the task that lies ahead of them at City.
He admitted that the side have to be switched on defensively for all 90 minutes to come away from the Etihad with a positive result.
Conte said regarding this evening’s clash: “I think we have studied Manchester City very well. For sure for a big part of the match, we will have to defend but at the same time, you have to be humble that you have to play a game and pay great attention as they are in fantastic form.
“They won the last game 5-0 and they won the previous two games 4-0.
“They have the best defence and we are talking, I repeat, about a fantastic team. In the same way, we want to play our game and try to get the best result as possible.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Without Dier, we would not have had any chance of getting a result against City. As talented as Romero is, he is not ideally suited to playing as the central sweeper in our back three as he is sometimes too keen to push up and win the ball.
The England international’s return will certainly help us be more organised at the back. However, it will still be very difficult to stop City from creating chances given the way they use the pitch to stretch the opposition.
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