Dier opens up about mentality of England’s fringe players so far

PUBLISHED: 11:00 28 June 2018

Eric Dier while captaining England during a friendly with Italy at Wembley Stadium (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images).

Eric Dier while captaining England during a friendly with Italy at Wembley Stadium (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

The Spurs midfielder will start his first match at a World Cup later this evening

Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier has discussed the mentality of the fringe players in the England squad ahead of today’s Group G decider with Belgium.

After playing only a few minutes in the tournament so far, the versatile Spurs ace will start his first match in a World Cup this evening.

Gareth Southgate has largely used the same group of players during the first two games in Group G and Dier explained how the fringe members of the squad have reacted to their lack of minutes.

When speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he said: “It is only natural we want to play. It is normal, it is one of the reasons we get to where we do because we have a competitive nature.

“We have to respect that, keep pushing, I think that is what the players have been doing. That has been the mentality of the players who have not been in the starting XI, keep working at the best of our ability.”

Someone who has featured prominently for England at this tournament and has made headlines for all the right reasons is Harry Kane.

The Spurs forward has scored five times – twice in the 2-1 win over Tunisia and a hat-trick in the 6-1 triumph against Panama on Sunday.

Dier admitted he finds it slightly bemusing that there is still some shock about the goalscoring exploits of the London-born striker.

“I’m not surprised by Harry’s form, no. Everyone knows by now,” said the 24-year-old, who has played for England since November 2015.

“It is funny how people still talk about Harry in the way that you are still supposed to be surprised by it, but he has been doing it at a consistent level now for a long time and continues to improve and has a fantastic work ethic and attitude and is extremely driven.

“It has been a fantastic tournament for him so far and hopefully he can continue to play a massive part in the tournament for England and I believe he has an even better level as well.”

Additional reporting by Press Association Sport.

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