EPL

Mourinho looks to avoid 'trouble' over Dier ban

By Sports Desk July 08, 2020

Jose Mourinho's fear of getting "in trouble" put the Tottenham boss on the defensive regarding the subject of Eric Dier's four-game ban.

Spurs midfielder Dier was hit with the sanction, along with a £40,000 fine, by the Football Association on Wednesday after his altercation with a fan following the penalty shoot-out FA Cup defeat to Norwich City in March.

The England international climbed into the stands having been angered by the actions of a supporter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Dier was handed a misconduct charge in April and, though he denied his actions had been threatening, an independent regulatory commission found otherwise.

Asked to give his response to the punishment and whether the club would appeal, a guarded Mourinho said: "If I answer, I'm going to be in trouble and I don't want to be.

"I don't think [there will be an appeal], honestly, because if you appeal you have other risks. At least let's start next season without a suspension.

"And we all know how it works, you have access if you want to the record of appeals, successful appeals and unsuccessful appeals. I don't think so, I don't think we're going to appeal."

The suspension means Dier will be absent for all but one of Spurs' remaining five games, with Mourinho revealing a certain ambivalence towards the 26-year-old.

"I think he had a strange last season. A very strange current season," he said, admitting there was some debate over Dier's best position.

"We made a decision together, I told him immediately since my arrival, let's go together in a certain direction, but I think you are not ready.

"So, let's go back to a certain level of being a midfielder, but also with an eye to transforming to a centre-back, where he feels more comfortable.

"Even when we were working on Zoom, we were working with him, totally focused on being a centre-back, so he develops a number of skills, becomes much more adapted to that position.

"Then we decided [against] Manchester United, first match [after the resumption], we'd go with him in that position. Using this period to fight for points and objectives in relation to the table but also looking forward to the next season.

"And I think he played a very good match against Sheffield [United]. We all made a few mistakes but defensively the team was very consistent. And he was very consistent playing against some of the best strikers.

"I think he's doing very, very well, we look forward to next season, where we have no doubts that he's there as a centre back and I think an important player for us."

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