Eric Dier has revealed that it wasn’t just Tottenham manager Antonio Conte who joked about dropping Heung-Min Son more often after his dazzling hat-trick against Leicester.
The South Korean was joint Premier League Golden Boot winner last season having scored 23 goals in the division, but this time found himself out of Spurs’ XI after none in six games.
Italian boss Conte’s decision to remove him from the spotlight and then dump him against the weary legs of a dejected Foxes team was vindicated.
A reverse clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was derailed by a goal-hungry Son after 59 minutes, who helped them to a 6-2 win.
He pulled off a delightful hat-trick, including two outrageous long-range efforts, in just 13 minutes and 21 seconds.
And Dier admitted that in the north London dressing room, his friend was told by his team-mates that he might have to be on the bench much longer.
“We were just joking with him in the build up that the manager should let him go more often if he scores a hat-trick every half hour,” he laughed.
“Everyone is in love with him. Obviously, for someone who lives to score goals, it’s been a tough start to the season. I think that is no secret. But yes, today he has come back in an emphatic way, the floodgates have opened.”
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The mood was definitely jovial after the match with the usually stony-faced Conte even imagining himself a comedian after his inspired decision.
Conte told Sky Sports: “I’m very happy for Sonny today, you know what I think of the player. I told him if you’re going to score three goals in 30 minutes ‘maybe we can repeat this experiment’ but he was kidding.”
However, Son himself, even after a truly sensational hat-trick, was hyper-critical of his previous performances and even felt emotional speaking about the support he received from his teammates and fans.
“It was a great performance and I was also very frustrated,” he told Sky Sports.
“The way I play I can do much better than I have been. I was disappointed, the team has been doing very, very well, but I was disappointed with my performance.
“My finishing has been poor this season. I’ve also had a bit of bad luck with an own goal, two offsides and a hit on the crossbar. I knew goals were coming and I wasn’t worried.
“I am very happy that the ball has finally gone in! I was pretty sure it was okay for the hat-trick. I am glad that I was able to help the team, that is very important and I can go to national service with renewed energy.
“I’m getting emotional to be honest. There has been incredible support and I have always felt that I have let down my teammates and fans with my performances. They have always supported me.”
Dier already has two Premier League goals this season, after scoring zero in the previous three campaigns, and is delighted with his contribution.
“I want to score more goals,” he said. “It is something that I was very motivated to do starting this season, something that I think the coach wants more from me as well.
“I’ve been trying to pay a little more attention and focus on that and, yes, I’m very happy.”
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