By Dominic Toner
Tottenham manger Mauricio Pochettino has found a new system that can accommodate England international Eric Dier.
The 22-year-old has been under severe criticism this season after some underwhelming performances at both centre-back and in defensive midfield.
He has been under pressure to improve from supporters and was an unused substitute in the recent defeat against Manchester United.
Pochettino decided to switch to a 3-4-2-1 formation on Wednesday as Spurs completed a convincing 3-0 home victory against Hull in the Premier League.
Dier played 90 minutes as part of a three-man defence alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, with the trio enjoying a fairly comfortable night.
Spurs recorded a comfortable win and it is likely that Pochettino will stick with the formation against Burnley on Sunday.
The north London club have mirrored Chelsea’s three-man defence which has helped to a 10-game winning run and the system appears perfect for Spurs.
Dier is a defensive midfielder by trade and was successful in that position last season for the club, but he is very unlikely to dislodge the impressive Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele.
He spent large parts of this campaign as a centre-back during the injury to Alderweireld, but was prone to a mistake and looks a long way off his best.
The new defensive set-up suits him perfectly and allows him the freedom to be in possession.
Chelsea defenders David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill are thriving in a back three, something that certainty looks like could work to the same effect at White Hart Lane.
Dier has made 107 appearances for Spurs and Pochettino appears to have now stumbled on a natural position for the 22-year-old.
In other Tottenham news, Ledley King has answered whether he’d get into the club’s defence right now.