'It's not a rest!' - Tottenham's Eric Dier explains England absence

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Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier has revealed why he pulled out of the England Under-21 squad for the international break.

Dier has been a regular fixture in Under-21 squads this season, but his absence from Gareth Southgate’s current crop raised a number of questions.

The 20-year-old defender has received criticism for his decision, with many claiming that choosing club over country represents a negative move, but Dier has confirmed that Southgate gave him full backing to sit out the fixtures, with the two-week break being spent at Spurs’ Enfield training ground instead. The summer signing from Portuguese club Sporting CP has impressed since his move to England, but he told the officials Spurs website that he was still adapting to his new life in his birth country, having lived in Portugal since a young age.

He said: “I spoke to Gareth Southgate and we were in complete agreement that it was the right thing to do.

“It not a case that I don't want to play for England, that couldn't be further from the truth.

“It has been a hectic start to the season for me and I have been delighted with the number of games I've played so far.

“Obviously, I have just moved clubs and even though I represent England I have not lived here since I was really young so I am still adapting to my new environment.”

Whilst Dier’s response indicates that he will spend the entire international break working on settling into the country, rather than focusing on his football, the youngster confirmed that he would remain training to improve his game, insisting that his absence from the Young Lions is not a chance for him to rest.

He added: “I just felt that this two-week period gives me the opportunity to work on parts of my game that I have had problems with over the past two months, personal elements I need to work on both physically and on the football pitch that I think will make me a better player for both club and country in the long-term.

“It is far from a rest. This is a period where I can spend time at my new club and put a lot of work in to improve because during the season these opportunities do not come around too often for Spurs or England because of the number of games we have to prepare for.”

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