Ange Postecoglou had a tense exchange with a reporter after firing back over a question regarding Eric Dier’s absence from Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Burnley amid links to German champions Bayern Munich.
Dier was not involved as Pedro Porro’s superb 78th-minute strike sent Spurs into the FA Cup fourth round after a hard-fought victory over the Clarets on Saturday (AEDT).
England international Dier was conspicuous by his absence but Postecoglou took umbrage at any suggestions it was linked to rumours over his future.
Dier has entered the final six months of his deal at Tottenham and Bayern are interested in signing the versatile defender, the PA news agency understands.
While Spurs are willing to listen to offers for Dier, Postecoglou snapped back when repeatedly quizzed on the fitness of the 29-year-old.
“Yeah he’s injured,” the Australian manager said of Dier.
“He just pulled up sore and didn’t train yesterday.”
Asked if it was linked to reports regarding Bayern, Postecoglou snapped back: “Separate issue mate but don’t question my integrity.
“When I say he’s injured, he’s injured. He didn’t train yesterday.
“It’s got nothing to do with anything else.
“I’ve got no idea (about Bayern). When you ask me whether he’s injured, he’s injured. I didn’t make that up.
“If he wasn’t injured, I’d say he wasn’t selected. It’s easy for me to say. He’s injured and in terms of anything else that’s happening, not on my radar.
“Not that I’ve heard of. If there is something I’m sure I’ll hear of it, but fair to say in the last 24 hours we’ve been focusing on the game and the guys that are available.”
“The second half was really good – I’m pleased with how we performed and we played to our level.”
Deki reacts to our victory against Burnley pic.twitter.com/F8VNyFe4NI
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 5, 2024
Spurs, who were without captain Son Heung-min due to his South Korea commitments, created plenty of chances against Burnley, but lacked fluency in attack with Brennan Johnson testing Arijanet Muric on several occasions.
The visitors also had their moments with Zeki Amdouni firing over in the first half, but a replay looked on the cards until Porro let fly from 25-yards and found the top corner with a sensational strike.
Amdouni volleyed wide late on as Tottenham held on to reach round four, but suffered a further injury blow with Ben Davies limping off.
Postecoglou was asked if he could afford to lose Dier if Davies’ injury was serious and he replied: “Yes.”
On Davies, he added: “Ben looks like he done his hamstring. So, it looks like he will be out and Gio (Lo Celso) has a bit of tightness but hoping it is nothing.”
The boss gives his thoughts on tonight’s FA Cup exit pic.twitter.com/2nBSEYO33e
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) January 5, 2024
Meanwhile, opposite number Vincent Kompany was pleased with the progress made by Burnley since their 5-2 humbling to Spurs in September.
“It was a battle for 97 minutes and right until the end,” Kompany insisted.
“For us, that is a clear sign of improvement. The game we played against Spurs at Turf Moor is probably the story of our first 10 games and the game today is probably the story of our last 12 games if I count cup games.
“Every game has been undeniably a performance with effort, moments and chances, but in key moments you can get undone.”