Eric Dier: Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho not expecting club to discipline player for fan altercation
Mourinho insist Dier is in the right frame of mind to play at Burnley on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 07/03/20 4:44pm
Jose Mourinho does not expect Tottenham to discipline Eric Dier for his confrontation with supporters in the stands.
Dier could face FA action after attempting to get to one fan, in particular, said to have been involved in a spat with his brother, after the midweek FA Cup defeat to Norwich.
On Wednesday, the Spurs head coach said he would not support club discipline against Dier after defending his actions, although branding them unprofessional, and suggested the club would not be doing so ahead of Saturday's trip to Burnley.
"I don't know the answer (as to whether he will be disciplined)," he said. "The only thing I can say is that, if the club does, it's not because I want it.
"I am with the player. I believe that the club is also with the player. So I believe there is no action from us. One thing is conversations, sharing ideas, another thing is going in that direction, which I don't think we as a club want to go."
Dier was one of the first names on Mourinho's team-sheets when he succeeded Mauricio Pochettino earlier this season, playing him in the midfield position where he planned to deploy him had he successfully signed the player when he was in charge of Manchester United.
The England international then lost his place due to injuries elsewhere in the squad but has since returned to impress at centre-back - and Mourinho has suggested this is where Dier's long-term future may reside; something previous boss Pochettino also believed.
Mourinho said: "(When I arrived, in Dier) I found a player that was not playing. I found a sad player, without confidence. Then I was trying to give him that confidence back. I played him immediately, and in a position I thought was his natural position (central midfielder).
"He was playing under Mauricio and in the national team, having a promising period in his career. I was always happy with his personality, and team concept. He is really a team player, not an individual boy.
"(But) we needed a little bit more creation and dynamic in midfield, because we wanted to give the team an offensive character. And then, when we lost the attacking players, I thought more when you don't have the goalscorers you need more players that have a little bit more creation, so we went a bit more in the direction of players like (Giovani) Lo Celso, even playing in a double pivot.
"Then I spoke with him (Dier) a few times. He was always giving me the idea that his best feeling would be playing as a centre-back, and my answer at that time was I think this is something to maybe start him in next pre-season. Let's work in relation to that possibility, let's feel, let's have friendly matches.
"By different circumstances I decided to play him against Wolves in a back-three, where I thought he would be less exposed and, with the ball, a midfield player. He played so, so well. Then I decided 'okay, the feeling is so good, let's go with a back-four when it is more difficult for a centre-back'. He did so, so good again. So now we have the feeling that maybe it's his best position.
"And again, more important than what I or my assistants feels, or data says, is what the player feels. And he loves to play there. You can see his attitude on the pitch; leadership, confidence. So maybe there is a good solution for him. And in a world where there are not so many centre-backs, in this moment, at a high level, he is a good solution for us."