“It was a tough time last year away at Stoke and we dropped points against them at the start of the season so obviously we’re looking to put that right,” recalled Eric Dier per TottenhamHotspur.com.
Last time out against Stoke, Tottenham saw an early two goal lead wiped away by late goals from Marko Arnautovic and Mame Biram Diouf.
Dier did his part on that day, netting the match’s first goal off of a Christian Eriksen corner. He said, “It was a nice moment for me to start off the season, getting underway with a goal.”
Though the 22-year-old remembers the goal fondly, he is aware of the importance Monday’s fixture. Despite the early season draw as well as the 3-0 defeat to Stoke at the end of the last campaign, the defensive midfielder is hoping Spurs’ current momentum trumps recent history against the Potters.
Dier continued, “We’re looking at this week’s game now, though, and looking to win. We’ve had a great week in training since the United game, everyone’s been working very hard all week so we’ll take that into the game on Monday and look to pick up the three points.”
Manager Mark Hughes has this year’s Stoke team playing a more free-flowing brand of football than the direct, physical style they have widely become known for. With former Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Affelay and the ex-Bayern Munich man Xherdan Shaqiri pulling the strings and Arnautovic and Bojan Krkic scoring 17 goals between them, the current Stoke side has gone a long way toward shedding their old reputation.
Though Stoke find themselves likely out of the fight for European places but well above the relegation scrap, they still have a bit of club history to play for. The Stoke Sentinel reports that if they are able to secure eight more points from their five remaining fixtures, they will be able to better last year’s record Premier League points total of 54.
Yet with reprisal on his mind, Stoke won’t inch any closer to history Monday night if Eric Dier has his way.
“I think with the Manchester United game last week we put one of the scores we had to settle right so hopefully we can do that again this week.”