Tottenham defender Eric Dier has revealed he is enjoying life under new manager Antonio Conte, who he believes is not nearly as scary as he has been made out to be.
Conte comes with a reputation for being incredibly intense, sometimes to the point of concern, while his training sessions have also been described as some of the most gruelling around.
Right-back Emerson Royal shared that viewpoint recently, admitting recently that Spurs were ‘learning to suffer’ under Conte.
However, speaking to Sky Sports, Dier insisted that life under Conte is nowhere near as terrifying as he was expecting after reading all the stories on the boss’ techniques.
“There’s been tough training sessions, which is a good thing,” Dier said. “The boys have really enjoyed the time we’ve had and the tough sessions.
“A lot of us were here under [Mauricio] Pochettino so we were prepared in some way. It’s been really enjoyable to work in that way and to really push ourselves. We need to improve quickly, so it’s been really good so far.
“There’s a bit of an overreaction. The manager has an incredible passion and intensity towards football, but off the pitch he’s very personal. There’s quite a relaxed environment, a lot of fun – he and his staff enjoy a joke.
“They did the singing initiation, which was really good. It was all Italian classics, but they sang with the same passion they have for football. So it’s not all serious, but when it’s the time to work, it’s the time to work.”
When asked what Conte’s main focus of training sessions had been, Dier’s response was clear.
“Consistency is something that we really need to improve on,” he said. “At times we can be really good, but we’re lacking that consistency to do it over and over again, game after game.
“Mentally we need to be better. We need to be more consistent in everything we do. In every way we need to improve and I think there’s a huge space for us to improve.
“That’s something that we’re really focused on and it’s something the manager has spoken to us about. Hopefully we can do that over Christmas when there’s so many games.”