Jose Mourinho has explained the reasons behind leaving Eric Dier out of his Tottenham side for the 2-0 Premier League win against West Brom.
Dier had started 19 of Spurs’ 21 league games before the Portuguese coach named the England international centre-back on the bench for the match against the Baggies.
The defensive partnership of Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez helped Spurs to their first clean sheet in seven matches as the North Londoners snapped a run of three straight defeats.
And Mourinho revealed Dier had suffered a loss of confidence after being one of a number of players to make individual mistakes during Tottenham’s recent run of sketchy form.
Dier’s positioning was questionable as Roberto Firmino scored Liverpool’s opener in the 3-1 win at Tottenham last month and, after being dropped for the next game against Brighton and Hove Albion, Dier came back to concede a penalty in the 1-0 loss to Chelsea.
“Players have moments,” Mourinho said. “They can be very good, they can be strong personalities, they can be experienced, they can cope with a mistake but in the end, they are men. And they feel more than anyone else these little moments of confidence, of crisis.
“I have to admit that recently our team makes little important mistakes that are punished in terms of our results.
“And Eric was there, he was one of them. They feel it. And I believe confidence, that drops a little bit.
“But great personality, a team guy, as happy as we were when we won on Sunday. A guy that loves it here, a guy that is loved by the team-mates, a guy that I trust. And he will be back to normality and his normality is to play and be solid.”
Mourinho must now decide whether to recall Dier for Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Everton, ahead of a league game against Manchester City on Saturday.
The Spurs coach confirmed Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso will miss the trip to at Goodison Park, while Serge Aurier is a doubt.