Eric Dier says there is a “long way to go” for England until the scars of Euro 2016 will be healed after picking up their first win of the Sam Allardyce era against Slovakia on Sunday night.
The 22-year-old, a part of the much-maligned squad in France this summer, played the full 90 minutes as Allardyce’s side began their World Cup qualifying campaign with a narrow victory in Trnava, courtesy of Adam Lallana’s last-minute winner.
But Dier insists one success against a nation ranked 24th in the Fifa world rankings is not enough to exorcise the ghost of the round-of-16 defeat by Iceland in Nice, a failure considered by some to be the most humiliating night in the history of English football.
“It is nice to get off to a winning start for us and the manager as we try to put the Euros behind us,” the Tottenham midfielder said. “It is nice to have played another game for England so that the one at the Euros is not the last one now.
“There is a long way to go until the scars have been healed but it is a start. All we can do is win against whoever we have in front of us but I think there is a long way to go before we repay everyone for what happened in the Euros.
“And for ourselves as well because we were the most unhappy of everyone and there is a long way to go until we are happy again.”
Lallana struck in the fifth minute of added-time to delay the inquisition on England’s earlier failure to break down 10-man Slovakia after former Liverpool defender Martin Škrtel had been dismissed for two bookable offences on striker Harry Kane.
Under Roy Hodgson, England endured a stalemate against the Slovaks in Saint-Etienne and history appeared to be repeating itself with Lallana hitting the post while substitutes Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge spurned late opportunities.
“We played them in the Euros (a 0-0 draw) and they are a very well-organised team,” Dier said. “They have been together for a long time with their manager and they have some good players so we knew it was going to be tough.
“The opposition going down to 10 men makes it more difficult sometimes. We probably should have finished the game off by the time we scored the winner and that is one of the things we are going to have to improve on: being that bit more ruthless.”