Tottenham boss Pochettino explains why he took managerial risk with Eric Dier

Tottenham boss Pochettino explains why he took managerial risk with Eric Dier

"I think we can definitely be proud of that".

"I think the feeling within the place was positive, we felt things were going in the right direction, and hopefully they will continue to, because we might have challenged a couple of times but we haven't really done anything yet".

Ajax, of course, reached the final of the competition last season, which they lost to Manchester United, but Pochettino had already seen enough to be convinced.

'We have a very good communication with doctor, physio, sports science, coaching staff to try to help him.

"We signed him as a young centre back but we chose to give him the possibility to play in midfield when we signed Toby Alderweireld". He's so humble and provides very, very good energy.

'It is so important to manage properly with him, ' Pochettino said.

Pochettino explained that managing Dembele, like all the players, was not formulaic because there are so many human factors, as well as football factors, to consider.

In his first year after joining from Sporting Lisbon, Dier was used exclusively as a defender but the departures of Paulinho and Etienne Capoue the following summer meant he was tried out in midfield during pre-season.

"Sometimes you are in a good mood, bad mood, you are sick, you eat something or you drink too much one night because you are in some party and then, the day after, you are weak!"

It was one of those Bilic performances when every man played above himself and they floored a team who were 28 points ahead of them.

Spurs visit West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday, having not won there since Dier scored the victor at Upton Park on his league debut in 2014.

The England global has made a habit down the years of producing his best in meetings with local rivals. "I have told you that Harry is one of the best strikers in the world and this is the confirmation, and [shows] how people around the world see Harry". Then it is up to the manager to use him in different positions'. "All the managers love to have this type of player in your squad", Pochettino said.

'We took a big risk not signing another midfielder and it was fantastic, ' Pochettino said. He deserved all the praise and our decision [paid off].

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists Harry Kane is "staying here" amid claims that trophies will be required to keep him.

"To know better in between them, to speak in a different way".