Jose Mourinho spoke passionately about Eric Dier after the Tottenham defender was at the centre of attention in their clash with Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.
Spurs beat their London rivals on penalties, claiming a 5-4 victory in the shootout to advance to the next round.
There was a bizarre moment in the second half when Dier abruptly left the field, only to be chased down the tunnel by Mourinho. The 26-year-old eventually returned to the field after nature had come calling.
Dier went on to score Spurs’ first penalty, and Mourinho gave him plaudits after highlighting Tottenham’s reaction in the second half.
The Tottenham boss told Sky Sports: “We were ready to fight, I told you. I told the players before the penalties that they were magnificent in the second half, we made Chelsea look ordinary. The team waited for the right moment.
“I have to think about three games at the same time but the players only thought about this game, they were phenomenal. Phenomenal.
“We tried to organise a team with the players we had available.
“What happened to Eric Dier is not normal, I have to praise him in a special way. It should be forbidden for a player to play two games in 48 hours at this level [after he played against Newcastle]. What he did is not human to do.
“He had to go [when he ran off] – he had no chance. Maybe it is a normal thing when you are completely dehydrated which is the case. I had to put pressure on him to get back but he is a great example for everybody. If the authorities don’t care about players, I care.
“On the penalties I have a negative record but I had the feeling that everything was going well.”