Dier calls on Tottenham team-mates to step up in absence of Kane and Alli

Eric Dier has told his Tottenham team-mates to cope with the absence of Harry Kane and the possible enforced rest for Dele Alli.

Dier, 25, returned as a substitute in Sunday’s 2-1 win at Fulham after spending over a month out following surgery to remove his appendix.

But striker Kane is now out until March with an ankle injury and Alli suffered a hamstring problem which requires a scan.

The full extent of Alli’s injury will be assessed by a scan, the results of which are likely to come in the next few days.

Dele Alli
Tottenham’s Dele Alli suffered a hamstring injury in the win at Fulham (Adam Davy/PA)

Initial suggestions pointed to it being unlikely the England midfielder will be involved in Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Chelsea.

Dier said: “Every team gets injuries; we have to deal with it, we’re not sulking about it or feeling sorry for ourselves.”

Spurs found a way to win on Sunday, Harry Winks’ stoppage-time header earning a victory to maintain a four-point advantage over fourth-placed Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino’s men are nine points behind leaders Liverpool and trail Manchester City by four.

Until Winks’ late intervention, Kane’s absence and that of Son Heung-min, on international duty with South Korea, appeared to have left them short in the final third and therefore at risk of dropping points at a crucial stage of the season.

Their persistence and an unlikely contribution from Georges-Kevin Nkoudou in creating Winks’ goal secured victory and proved they have options, with Fernando Llorente providing a goal threat, even though he only made the scoresheet by virtue of an own goal.

Harry Kane File Photo
Harry Kane will miss a run of key fixtures for Tottenham (Mike Egerton/PA)

Dier added: “It’s not a question of if we can cope without Harry or not. Harry’s one of the best strikers in the world, any team would feel the loss if Harry wasn’t playing, so we have to find a solution and move on.

“Injuries happen in football and that’s why you have a squad and not just 11 players.

“It was a good start (to life without him). People are going to be talking about it when he’s injured but we’ve just got to get on with it.

“Harry will be doing his best to get back as soon as possible and it’s down to the team and the squad to rally and carry on.

“Fernando’s a very good player. He has very good qualities. We need to give him the service he needs to demonstrate his qualities. We can do that and he can (also) help the team.”

Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate
England boss Gareth Southgate hopes Harry Kane will be available for the start of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign (Owen Humphreys/PA)

England manager Gareth Southgate plans to speak to Kane this week and anticipates the England captain will be keen to return to action ahead of schedule.

England play Czech Republic on March 22 and Montenegro on March 25 in their first two Euro 2020 qualifying games.

Southgate, speaking to the Football Writers’ Association, said: “It’s a disappointment for any player to miss matches and Harry especially wants to be available for every game and have the opportunity to score in every game.

“Knowing his mindset there’ll be a calendar on the wall and he’ll be making sure he gets back ahead of where people are predicting he can be back.

“The break won’t do him any harm, he’ll be fresh for it, he’ll be back to form for Tottenham and hopefully before out games in March.”

Fulham remain 19th, and seven points from safety, after the loss.

Left-back Ryan Sessegnon said: “It is really hard for us to take. Overall we should have settled for the point and not tried to win.

“Being at home we thought there was an opportunity to go and win; there was a lack of experience from us.

“It is going to be tough but we have to stick together and try to pick up some points. We know we have not been good enough this season. It is going to be tough but we are going to keep going.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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