Dier: Few in world can replace Kane

Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier (left) and Millwall's Lee Gregory (right) battle for the ball at White

Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier (left) and Millwall's Lee Gregory (right) battle for the ball at White Hart Lane (pic Adam Davy/Empics) - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Tottenham defender praises injured team-mate

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino looks on as Harry Kane limps off during their FA Cup tie

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino looks on as Harry Kane limps off during their FA Cup tie against Millwall (pic John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Eric Dier says there are very few players in the world who can replace the injured Harry Kane – but he was encouraged that Tottenham scored six times without their star striker yesterday.

Kane is facing a spell on the sidelines, having limped off in the early stages of Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Millwall and left White Hart Lane on crutches, wearing a protective boot.

The 23-year-old – who had scored 15 goals in his previous 13 matches - twisted the same ankle that he hurt back in September, when ligament damage ruled him out for seven weeks and 10 games.

Another prolonged absence would be a major blow for Spurs as they prepare for the climax of the top-four fight and an FA Cup semi-final. However, the Lilywhites coped ably without their prolific frontman yesterday.

Heung-Min Son hit a hat-trick while Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Vincent Janssen also got on the scoresheet in a comprehensive 6-0 rout and Dier feels that bodes well.

“Obviously Harry is very important for us, he’s a big part of this team in many ways,” he said. “I don’t know how bad it is. Hopefully he’s fit as soon as possible.

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“Apart from that it was great that ‘Sonny’ got a hat-trick and Vincent scored - that’s all positive signs and now hopefully they’ll step up.

“Can they fill the void? I hope so, they proved it yesterday. I hope everyone can pull their weight and we can keep going forward.

“There’s not many people you can replace Harry with in the world in football nowadays, but it’s a chance for someone else to step up and hopefully everyone will - not just the strikers but the whole team.

“We’ve got a very good squad, we’re on a good run, playing very well at the moment. We’re all very disappointed about Harry’s injury, and hopefully he gets back as quickly as possible because he’s very important for us.

“But as a team we can keep improving, keep playing this way and hopefully keep this run going.”

Dier added: “I think we did really well from the beginning [against Millwall] - we started well in every way.

“In previous rounds, especially against Wycombe at home, we started badly and it has become difficult. It was important to start well and we built on that and made it very difficult for them.”

When Kane suffered his previous injury in September, it thrust summer signing Janssen into the spotlight, but the reserve striker was unable to make the most of the opportunity.

He started seven out of the 10 games that Kane missed, yet his three goals in that period all came from the penalty spot – and his following strike against Wycombe in January was also a spot-kick.

The £17million man ultimately went 29 games without scoring from open play for Spurs – but that run finally came to an end yesterday as he came off the bench and struck the fifth goal against Millwall.

“It’s tough coming from a different country,” said Dier. “I don’t think people realise how tough it is, especially if you look at where Vincent has come from in such a quick period of time – from where he was and where he is now.

“I think he’s just adapting to everything. Everyone was obviously delighted he scored the goal. I’m really happy for him and hopefully he can score lots from now.”

Tottenham have joined Manchester City and Arsenal in the last four of the FA Cup, while Chelsea or Manchester United will complete a heavyweight quartet tonight, shortly before the semi-final draw.

There has been a growing concern that the competition is losing its magic, and that the biggest clubs are taking it less seriously these days.

But Dier said: “I think the semi-final line-up speaks for itself really. That’s all you can say isn’t it. They’re going to be great semi-finals and a final, and hopefully it works out well for us.

“I think everyone’s really excited. It’s great for the fans, great for the neutrals, great for the FA Cup. They’re two big semi-finals at Wembley and it’s going to be really interesting, and hopefully two great games.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs and visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BenPearceSpurs.