Tottenham's Dier slams Foster time-wasting in West Brom draw

LONDON -- Tottenham's Eric Dier has accused referee Mike Jones of being too slow to penalise Ben Foster's time-wasting in Saturday's 1-1 draw with West Brom, claiming Jones told him he did not want to punish the goalkeeper.

The struggling Baggies defended deep and doggedly after taking a surprise fourth-minute lead through Salomon Rondon, and they held on for a valuable point after Harry Kane's equaliser 15 minutes from time.

Foster was booed throughout the match by the Wembley crowd for dallying over goal-kicks, often appearing to hold the ball for longer than the six seconds permitted, but he was not booked by Jones until the 82nd-minute.

Afterwards, West Brom's interim manager Gary Megson claimed Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris took just as long as Foster, but Dier was left frustrated by both his England teammate and the referee.

"If you were to go and watch the game again and just add up from the first minute the amount of time that was wasted from their goalkeeper, I think you'd find quite a big number," said Dier, after Jones had added five minutes of stoppage time.

"It's confusing that you wait until the 80th minute to penalise [him], it when it's been happening from the first minute. It's something I really don't understand, it doesn't make sense.

"I think it helps the ref to stop it early doors with warnings, yellow cards. But it makes no sense for us if it's in the 20th minute, [to wait] until the 80th minute, because by then it's too late.

"He said [to us] that he doesn't want to be the referee that blows the whistle for someone holding the ball longer than six seconds, because no-one does. But if someone doesn't do it, then the goalkeeper's going to end up holding the ball for 30 seconds, 45 seconds.

"I think it's [meant to be] six seconds and sometimes it was a lot longer than 20 seconds for sure. I guarantee you."

Spurs captain Lloris agreed with Dier, saying time-wasting had no place in football after just 10 minutes.

"It's part of the game but it belongs to the referee to take the right decision at the right moment and to make the players understand that they cannot do that all the game," the Frenchman said.

"If you give a yellow card after 35 minutes in the game he will not do it again. But that's part of the game. If the referee says nothing obviously the keeper will keep doing it."

Manchester City's 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Sunday moved them 13 points clear of Spurs, who dropped to fifth place, but Dier remains hopeful that their festive form will resurrect the club's fading title hopes.

Spurs did not drop a point between Dec. 14 and Jan. 14 last season and they have lost just three of 26 league games in December and January in the past two years.

"I think there's so far to go," Dier said. "We're starting to get into the really busy period around Christmas which is really key. If we want any chance we have to have a great festive period.

"I think only after the festive period, maybe at the end of January, that's where you have a clearer idea of where everyone is.

"In the seasons I've been here we've had really strong festive periods and that's where we've caught up a lot of teams and put pressure on teams. We've just got to focus on ourselves and try to have a really good run of games now."