Ottenham defender Eric Dier has said he fears his hopes of playing for England at the next World Cup will be over before he is called up to the last team.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate this week after an 18-month absence recalled Dier for the Nations League double-header against Italy and Germany, the final two games before the Cup starts of the world in Qatar in November.
Having always been present in Antonio Conte’s resurgent Spurs squad, the centre-back admits it was his last chance to make the team.
“Obviously, yes, if I wasn’t in this [squad]so i think [that I’d have missed the World Cup]”, Dier told reporters after Saturday’s 6-2 win over Leicester. “It’s been a great week. It would have been better if we had won in Lisbon, but it’s been a good week and a great way to go. end here.
Discussing his contact with Southgate while in exile, Dier added: “I spoke to him once and, as I said, I focused on what was under my control and who was playing for Tottenham.”
Dier’s return comes fresh from scoring his second goal of the season in Tottenham’s win over Leicester, which left Spurs third after an unbeaten start to the season, and the defender is grateful to his club for the brought back to England.
“Honestly, it wasn’t really what I was thinking. [playing for England],” he added. “I was just thinking about trying to be as good a player as possible for Tottenham and then everything that happens as a result, but I think that’s the only thing I had to focus on.
“It was the only thing I had under control and then whatever happens happens. For me, I’m just very grateful for the way my teammates, my manager and my coaching staff, everyone world at Tottenham, supported and pushed me, and tried to help me get back into the national team.
“I just can’t wait to go. As my manager said during the week, for me it is my ambition that this is a starting point for me. I think I can still do a lot more.
It was also a good weekend for Son Heung-min, who ended his goal drought with a hat-trick from the bench, and Dier was sure to highlight his teammate’s performance.
“He was great, everyone is really happy for him,” Dier added of his teammate.
“It’s no secret that he’s had a tough start to the season, not scoring, but we’re so happy he came, helped the team the way he did and he scored a hat-trick, and I hope the floodgates are open for him now.