ERIC DIER says he needs a good SLEEP before going to the Qatar World Cup – because a “crazy” Premier League schedule has left him shattered.
Players have been pushed to the edge due to Fifa’s unprecedented decision to cram the biggest tournament on the planet midway through a domestic season rather than in the summer.
Already there have been 15 rounds of the Premier League, the Champions League group stages are all completed and the EFL Cup is into its fourth round.
Only Spurs team-mate Harry Kane has spent more time on the pitch out of all the Premier League stars.
While he is overjoyed that he is back in the Three Lions fold for a major tournament, Dier admits that he has been running on empty over recent weeks.
Dier said: “It’s a strange situation. Like a week or so, nine days and it all starts.
“I can’t believe it is starting. I just want to go home and go to sleep!
“It’s been a really tough period, I don’t even know how long it’s been. It feels like a year but it’s been about six weeks.
“It’s been really tough for everyone, at every club, players, staff and medical departments, coaching staff.
“It’s been a tough period and I’m just really happy to get through it with no injuries. We have done well to get through it in the way that we have.
“Disappointed with a few results towards the end, but everyone has experienced that – you look at Man City as they lost. It’s been a tough period for everyone.
“Of course, the schedule is crazy, I have never experienced anything like it in my life. Playing every three days for I don’t know how long it has been – it’s unheard of.
“So, obviously it has been tough for everyone. But that’s been the situation.”
With a winter World Cup so alarmingly close, England captain Harry Kane’s movement and fitness was under the microscope in North London on Saturday.
Every time the Tottenham talisman was tackled or challenged, there seemed to be a collective intake of breath to ensure he would not get injured.
There was one heart-in-the-mouth moment when Kane was bundled over near the corner flag in stoppage-time by Leeds sub Sam Greenwood but thankfully he got up without any issues.
Kane, 29, will next week become the seventh person to captain England at two or more World Cups.
When he takes to the pitch against Iran next Monday, he might be wearing a left arm sleeve to protect an elbow cut sustained against Marseille in the Champions League.
Not too dissimilar to the arm cast that Gary Lineker wore during the 1986 Finals in Mexico.
According Dejan Kulusevski – who is on loan from Juventus – Kane will easily shoulder the responsibility of leading his country in action at the highest level of football.
Sweden defender Kulusevski, 22, said: “Harry is a big player, a fantastic human, I wish him all the best for the World Cup.
“He’s a finisher. You know that when you give him the ball, nine times out of 10 he will score. He’s a true role model.”
Having come through unscathed from Prem combat, Ben Davies will travel to the Middle East as part of the Wales squad.
The Welsh Dragons face the United States a week today before playing Iran and then the Battle of Britain against England.
The Spurs defender said: “This is the situation we have been put into, this is what we are dealing with, and luckily everyone has come through it alright in our team. I’m looking forward to the first game.
“It won’t be hard to switch on to the World Cup. We are professional footballers. We are buzzing for it. We can’t wait.”
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