Tottenham ‘set to be above’ Europa Conference League as Eric Dier attacks standards


Eric Dier believes Tottenham should demand more than a place in the new Europa Conference League as he admits there has been a drop in standards at the club

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Nuno hopes Spurs can build on Mura’s win over Aston Villa

Eric Dier has claimed Tottenham “should be above” the Europa Conference League after admitting the players have dropped their standards.

Tottenham defender Dier insists the club should fight for top-class European football after falling in UEFA’s third-choice competition this season.

Two years ago Tottenham reached the Champions League final and now they face European minnows like Slovenia’s team Mura and Dier say they have to come back in the big time.

But Dier has also been brutally honest about the players sharing their responsibility as he insists they should take responsibility rather than Nuno Espirito Santo for their start to the campaign.

Tottenham are back in eighth place after Dier revealed the players spoke among themselves about the need for a strong response against Aston Villa after their dismemberment in the North London derby at Arsenal the week before.

Eric Dier expressed his frustration

They fought back with a win over Villa, but Dier has been brutally honest about the team’s failures and also said they should aim much higher this season.

Dier said: “We have to be ambitious for European football. There must be European football in this stadium. Without disrespecting the Conference League, we have to play on top of that. This is what we should be striving for.

“I think in football most managers, especially the best managers, look at each other first. As players we have to do that too. We had to look at each other first in the Arsenal game. .

“That was one of our messages before the Villa game, we have to show a reaction for ourselves, we have to prove to ourselves that we are much better than what we showed last week.

“It’s really important because it’s something that we all work together as a group. It’s everyone at the club. It’s not just the manager, it’s not just the players, it’s everyone together.

“We all have to work, we have to improve as a group, think about things that we can improve. Really try to push forward and get the club back to where it needs to be.

Tottenham started brilliantly under Nuno with three consecutive wins, then went on to experience three Premier League losses and won their seventh game of the campaign against Villa.

But Dier admitted that the storm clouds gathered over the club because the performances – especially against Arsenal – were just not good enough.

“I think it was the players who needed to show that reaction because for me it’s up to us as players to play,” said Dier.

“There are certain levels you can’t go below and we definitely went below them against Arsenal and that has nothing to do with the manager.

North Londoners struggled in the second half of last season

“But it’s still only the beginning, our performance against Villa was probably our best of the season and I think that shows a real reaction from the players.”

Tottenham fans, however, are still clamoring for performances to match the results and they demand sleek, attacking football. But Dier says results, especially when Nuno settles into labor, is the No.1 priority.

Dier added: “The results will always be the most important thing, for any team and whatever style you play, the results will always be the most important thing and that will not change.

“We won’t change. Obviously we want to win football matches and play good football like we did against Villa.

“But like I said it takes time and we are only at the start of a new phase, a new manager, it is still early and these things take time to implement and we are definitely working on implement that and get the other side right too.

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