London (AFP) – Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says Eric Dier will be selected against Burnley on Saturday after declaring the England midfielder has recovered from his astonishing row with a fan.
Dier climbed into the stands at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to confront a supporter following Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth round defeat against Norwich.
The 26-year-old tried to approach the fan who was allegedly abusing his brother before being led away from the incident, which is likely to trigger a Football Association probe.
Dier was reported to be unflustered once he returned to the dressing room and Mourinho insisted he is in the right frame of mind to feature at Turf Moor.
“Eric is in the right frame of mind to play tomorrow, of course. The only thing that matters is: first of all, that nothing really big happened,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday.
“Secondly he played so, so well in the last two matches. Of course he is going to play.
“I would never do that (rest him). The player played so well. Nothing happened, nothing to be afraid of, nothing to be ashamed of.
“The football world is behind (him) and understands completely the circumstances.”
Mourinho acknowledged Dier, who has become a target for some frustrated Tottenham supporters this season, was wrong to confront the fan given he is supposed to set a professional example, but admitted he would have done the same thing.
“I look at myself and I am of course much older than Eric, and of course I have much more years in football than Eric,” he said.
“And as you know, I was born a footballer’s son, and I grew up as a football manager, and the only thing that I can say is that: if I see something happening with my son, I would do the same.
“I wouldn’t think two seconds about doing the same. So, that’s why I said I would do the same.
“But, as professionals, sometimes we have to go through difficult situations. And we have to try to cope with it.”
After the penalty shoot-out defeat to Norwich, Mourinho said he would only be able to prioritise one of the next two games, with a Champions League clash against Leipzig following the Burnley game.
Tottenham, hit by injuries to several players including star forwards Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, need Premier League points in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
They also trail Leipzig 1-0 ahead of the last 16 second leg in Germany on Tuesday.
Mourinho now says Tottenham will do their best to win both games.
“We are in a situation where I think it is very hard to prioritise,” he said.
“But as I was saying after the match it was a discussion to have internally and especially the players feelings and the communication with the players is always the most important thing.
“Of course we want to win tomorrow and the tie on Tuesday but we have to find a way where we give some players a better chance to perform.”
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