December 15, 2016 / 6:59 AM / 8 months ago

Tottenham's Pochettino shoots down talk of Dier exit

Britain Football Soccer - Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City - Premier League - White Hart Lane - 14/12/16 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs Livepic

(Reuters) - Mauricio Pochettino has given short shrift to reports suggesting Eric Dier is set to leave Tottenham Hotspur, saying the England midfielder's will be staying at White Hart Lane for a good while yet.

Dier has recently been reduced to a bit-part role for Spurs after failing to recapture the form he showed last season, leading to speculation the 22-year-old could move on despite agreeing a new deal with the club in September.

"Absolutely not. Eric Dier is our player. He extended his contract and improved his salary after the Euros. There is no doubt that his future is here at Tottenham," Pochettino told British media.

Christian Eriksen, who scored a brace in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Hull City, has pitched in with five goals in his last five games and Pochettino believes the midfielder has been easing the goalscoring burden on the strikers.

"He is working very hard to improve and I know it is important for our strikers to score goals but also for our midfield to score as well," Pochettino said.

"It is good for us and the team that they start to score too."

The win over Hull meant that fifth-placed Spurs kept pace with the Premier League's top four, as they sit three points behind the Champions League qualifying places after 16 games.

"It is key to be close to the top four, always. There is a long way to the end of the season," Pochettino said.

"This is a very tough period now ... In this moment we need to keep our faith and reduce the gap, if not keep the same position."

Tottenham host 13th-placed Burnley in the league on Sunday.

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru

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