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Eric Dier has revealed the decision for him to switch from midfield to defence was made before Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
The 26-year-old featured regularly under Pochettino, mainly playing in midfield, but he has established himself as one of Spurs' first-choice centre-backs under Mourinho.
However, the move was one that Dier decided on after discussions with Pochettino, claiming he "felt the time was right", and he spoke with Mourinho about it when the Portuguese tactician first joined Tottenham.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Dier said: "It was something we spoke about [when Mourinho arrived]. It was a decision I actually made before the manager arrived here.
Eric Dier has established himself as one of Tottenham Hotspur's first choice centre-backs this season
(Image: CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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"It was something on my mind for a while and I spoke with Pochettino over various seasons. I felt the time was right in terms of my age, in terms of what I done and my career.
"I felt I needed to make that commitment and move forward, I had the conversation with the manager when he arrived and he respected that.
"He said 'It's up to you'. After the Chelsea game last season where he lost, he said 'Now is your chance and you need to show me now'. I'm grateful for the opportunity to prove myself there. It is where I feel most confident."
The move into defence has proved to be a good one, with Dier starting nine of Spurs' ten Premier League games there so far this season and helping them top the table.
Despite their early form, the England international insists they are still improving, adding: "We know there is a lot of work to do, there is a lot we need to improve on.
"We need to keep moving in this direction we are going in and also understand there are going to be difficult times and be ready to handle those situations.
"It's easy when things are going well but when things take a turn for the worse, we need to be ready to handle those situations. It only really matters who is first in May."