Tottenham defender Eric Dier has defended his decision to opt out of the England Under-21 squad and insisted he has not snubbed his country.
Dier decided to make himself unavailable for selection for the friendlies against Portugal and France in order to spend more time settling in with his club, having moved to White Hart Lane from Sporting Lisbon in August.
The 20-year-old has lost his place in the starting line-up at the London club and England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate agreed that Dier would be better served spending time on the training ground at Tottenham.
"I spoke to Gareth Southgate and we were in complete agreement that it was the right thing to do," Dier told the club's official website.
"We had an open conversation and I think he was happy that I could be so honest with him. If he wasn't completely fine with this then I would never have asked because I would never want to put him in a difficult position.
"He has been fantastic with the whole situation and is really easy to talk to. I certainly would never want to give him or anyone else the wrong impression.
"It not a case that I don't want to play for England, that couldn't be further from the truth.
"It has been a hectic start to the season for me and I have been delighted with the number of games I've played so far.
"Obviously, I have just moved clubs and even though I represent England I have not lived here since I was really young so I am still adapting to my new environment.
"I just felt that this two-week period gives me the opportunity to work on parts of my game that I have had problems with over the past two months, personal elements I need to work on both physically and on the football pitch that I think will make me a better player for both club and country in the long term.
"It is far from a rest. This is a period where I can spend time at my new club and put a lot of work in to improve because during the season these opportunities do not come around too often for Spurs or England because of the number of games we have to prepare for."
Dier also denied that he is not happy with being employed at right-back rather than centre-half.
"I will never complain to a manager about what position I play as long as I am playing - I'd even play centre-forward if I was asked to." he said.comments