Pochettino praises 'hero' Dier after West Ham winner

Saturday's clash at Upton Park appeared destined to end in a goalless draw until the 20-year-old rounded Adrian to slot home an injury-time goal on his debut
By Liam Twomey at Upton Park

Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to unlikely debut hero Eric Dier after Tottenham ran out narrow winners over West Ham at Upton Park.

A goalless draw seemed inevitable in the closing minutes of a match which saw both Kyle Naughton and James Collins sent off by referee Chris Foy, until Dier rounded Adrian to slot home an injury-time winner on his first Premier League appearance.

And after the match Pochettino praised the contribution of the 20-year-old, acquired in a £4 million deal from Sporting this summer.

“He’s still young but he showed a good game last week and again today,” the Argentine told reporters. “He’s calm and has a lot of quality and potential. 

“We have to give him the possibility to play while being careful with him. But he was the hero today.

“I haven’t seen him do it [in training] because he doesn’t play as a centre-forward! 

“I’m very pleased for him and for the whole team for a great performance. 

“But this is our philosophy. We have to believe for every minute and try to win every game.”

Foy made two decisive calls in the match, issuing a straight red card to Naughton for deliberate handball before showing James Collins his second yellow card for a cynical body check on Emmanuel Adebayor in the second half.

Allardyce believes the dismissal of Collins was harsh but conceded that his team were responsible for their own demise, having dominated Spurs in a first half which saw Mark Noble miss from the penalty spot.

“I don’t agree with [the decision] but I can’t complain about it,” he admitted. 

“But if you’re in risk of getting sent off don’t let the guy go past you. It’s more our fault than the referee’s.

“We didn’t take the chances to win the game when we created them and paid the ultimate price in the end. 

“I can’t complain about the performance or the football we played, or how many times we opened up Tottenham, but we weren’t clinical and we were very naive.”

Allardyce also gave short shrift to suggestions that his job might be under threat as a result of his continued unpopularity with West Ham fans.

“If [the owners] were going to do it [sack me] after one game they might as well have done it at the end of last season,” he insisted. 

“Why do the whole summer we’ve done and create what we’ve tried to create and do that after one game? 

“At the end of the day we didn’t deserve to lose and we’ve got a lot of players to come back and make us stronger. 

“After that performance I’m very confident our season’s going to be a good one.”

Get Adobe Flash player