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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 24 February, 2019

'I slipped up' - Allardyce backtracks on Dier-Busquets comparison

The former England manager insists that he was merely sticking up for the Tottenham star after criticism of his performances in the media.

SAM ALLARDYCE HAS backtracked on comments he made insisting that Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets is “no better than Eric Dier”.

The former England manager made the claim after England defeated La Roja 3-2 in Seville in a UEFA Nations League encounter.

Dier grabbed headlines for a crunching tackle on Sergio Ramos but defended superbly throughout as the Three Lions claimed a famous win.

His performance led Allardyce to say: “The praise about Busquets must be stopped, it was never evident last night, he looked out of sorts.

“He’s no better or worse than Eric Dier, for me.”

But he has now attempted to rescind that comment, claiming that he was merely talking up Dier after widespread criticism of the midfielder’s performances for Tottenham.

“I slipped up a little bit, but on the night he was better than him,” he told Sky Sports.

“In career terms, he’s not. But what I was doing was sticking up for Dier, after the amount of stick he’s been getting.

“People saying he’s not good enough for England, people saying he shouldn’t be playing. There’s been a lot of negative comments in the press.”

Nevertheless, Allardyce believes Dier was one of England’s key men on the night and lauded his challenge on Real Madrid defender Ramos.

 ”He plays it simple and sits in the right positions,” he added.

“He made a great tackle [on Ramos]. That set a great standard for England on the night.

“In all fairness, you’re not allowed to take the ball and the man anymore, but it was a good challenge to get everyone in the right frame of mind, like a good pass, a good header or a good shot. It put England on the front foot.”

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