Jose Mourinho hailed Eric Dier as a “great example” after explaining the bizarre incident in which the England international left the pitch in Tottenham’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea.
Spurs took Chelsea to penalties after Erik Lamela scored early on to cancel out Timo Werner’s opener.
And Mourinho’s men were faultless from the spot, claiming a 5-4 victory in the penalty shootout to advance to the next round.
There was an unusual moment in the second half when Mourinho chased Dier down the tunnel during the match. The 26-year-old eventually returned to the field after nature had come calling.
Dier went on to score Spurs’ first penalty, and Mourinho gave him plaudits after highlighting Tottenham’s reaction in the second half.
The Tottenham boss told Sky Sports: “We were ready to fight, I told you. I told the players before the penalties that they were magnificent in the second half, we made Chelsea look ordinary. The team waited for the right moment.
“I have to think about three games at the same time but the players only thought about this game, they were phenomenal. Phenomenal.
“We tried to organise a team with the players we had available.
“What happened to Eric Dier is not normal, I have to praise him in a special way. It should be forbidden for a player to play two games in 48 hours at this level [after he played against Newcastle]. What he did is not human to do.
“He had to go [when he ran off] – he had no chance. Maybe it is a normal thing when you are completely dehydrated which is the case. I had to put pressure on him to get back but he is a great example for everybody. If the authorities don’t care about players, I care.
“On the penalties I have a negative record but I had the feeling that everything was going well.”
Dier explains incident
Dier himself also shed light on the incident, while outlining how proud he was of the performance in the end.
“I’m so happy, I’m proud of how we played apart from the first 15 minutes,” the defender said. “We showed them too much respect but then we were fantastic.
“After playing on Sunday it wasn’t easy, maybe that’s the reason I had to run off but we got through it. All of the staff and the players put the effort in.
“Jose wasn’t happy but there was nothing I could do about it, nature was calling. I heard there was a chance while I was off the pitch but thankfully they didn’t score.”