Tottenham star Eric Dier admits he had given up on the England dream

Eric Dier will board the plane for Qatar on Monday admitting he thought his international days were over. The great Tottenham defender is a key part of England manager Gareth Southgate’s World Cup plans as they head to the Middle East, after missing out on Euro 2020.

But Southgate saw enough in the 28-year-old’s rebounding form to bring him back after 18 months earlier this year, and Dier, who has 47 caps, is now looking forward to a second World Cup.

Mind you, if England’s first opponents in Qatar, Iran, were watching their performance on Saturday, they might not be too worried. However, he wasn’t the only Spurs defender to have a shaky day in a dazzling matchup, which saw Antonio Conte’s side retain their place in the top four until Boxing Day.

Dier said: “There was a time when I thought I wasn’t going to be involved with England anymore. I have had to work very hard to come back. I’m very proud of that. I am proud to go to another World Cup. I can’t wait. It’s going to be an amazing experience. I really want to be a part of this.

“I am extremely proud to play in my second World Cup.”

But, he admitted: “It’s a strange situation. Seven days and it starts. I just want to go home and sleep!”

However, Tottenham, after three defeats in their last four league games, needed this victory, which saw them come from behind three times. Dier insisted: “It has been a good first half of the season. We are in the Champions League, and among the first four.

“It’s frustrating to keep having to come back, but we trust ourselves. Even when we were down 3-2, we felt that if we got the draw, we would win. The schedule is crazy, I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life.”

Dier won’t want to look back too closely on Leeds’ first goal, in which Crysencio Summerville overtook him to shoot home. Spurs leveled when Harry Kane volleyed in, but Leeds were furious that VAR was not used to rule that goalkeeper Illan Meslier had been fouled.

Leeds took the lead again when Spurs failed to clear a corner and Rodrigo crashed his shot past Lloris.

The defenses were definitely not on top in this upside down game, and Spurs were level again when Ben Davies spiked. Leeds were far from over, and again Rodrigo evaded them, to fire into the far corner.

But comeback king Tottenham, with the return of Dejan Kulusevski always a threat, came at them again as Matt Doherty’s cross was not cleared, and Rodrigo Bentancur’s deflected shot flew past Meslier.

Two minutes later, Kane’s beautiful play dropped Kulusevski and Bentacur converted his cross. To sum up Leeds’ frustration, Tyler Adams was sent off for his second yellow card.

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