This ain’t the last fight – Ange Postecoglou ready for bigger battles with Spurs

Tottenham travel to Sheffield United on the final day with a point required to seal a fifth-placed finish and Europa League football.

Ange Postecoglou is eager for Tottenham to finish the Premier League season with a win at Sheffield United
Ange Postecoglou is eager for Tottenham to finish the Premier League season with a win at Sheffield United (John Walton/PA)

Ange Postecoglou is absolutely still up for the fight to deliver silverware at Tottenham despite enduring the “most unenjoyable experience” of his career earlier this week.

Spurs have made headlines since their 2-0 loss to Manchester City on Tuesday, which was played out in front of a subdued home crowd given the implication of what a positive result against the current Premier League champions would mean for the title prospects of London rivals Arsenal.

Postecoglou had dismissed the pre-match talk of Tottenham fans being happy for City to win, but faced a different reality on the night and reflected on Friday about the “cold sweats” he had during the game where it hit him that the worst-case scenario could result in his integrity being questioned.

It led to a tense press conference after the defeat, where the Australian claimed the foundations he had attempted to put down were “fairly fragile” at the club.

However, any possibility that Postecoglou could walk away early from his four-year deal have been squashed by the 58-year-old ahead of Sunday’s final-day clash at Sheffield United.

“I’ve lost five out of six games, I’m not going to come in here and be happy,” Postecoglou explained.

“I can’t hide who I am and what I believe. If I’m not happy about something, I’m going to say I’m not happy. We’ve lost five out of six games. I’m gutted.

“I’m not going to walk into a press conference and try to paint a rosy picture, especially on the back of the preceding 24 hours where like I said, it was the most unenjoyable experience I’ve had on the touchline in my whole career.

“That’s 26 years of football, where I’m sitting on the sideline and not really enjoying the battle against one of the best.

“But am up for the fight? Absolutely, mate. I love it. This is why I’ve come here and this ain’t the last fight I’m going to have, for sure.

“I’ll be honest with you, the biggest fight I’ll have at this football club is when we get close to success. That will be the biggest one.”

Postecoglou did go on to admit he would do things differently if the same situation was to happen again in the future.

“If you want a culprit, it’s me. Because I didn’t take it seriously. That’s what I think happened,” he acknowledged.

“I just didn’t really understand what was going on. I just didn’t think that that was the case. If I had my time again, yes I would do things differently.

“I would address the media differently the day before. I would probably address people in the club because they’re looking to me for direction. So, if you want a head on a stick, it’s my ugly mug mate. There you are.”

Defeat to City officially ended Spurs’ faint hopes of Champions League qualification, but it had looked unlikely for several weeks.

There is still work to do to seal fifth spot and with it a guarantee of Europa League football, which would be secured with a point at Bramall Lane.

Postecoglou joked: “Do you want me to park the bus?!

“I think it’s been misconstrued that somehow people didn’t think I cared about Champions League. All I kept saying was, of course I want to finish as high as possible, but it wasn’t going to disguise the work we needed to do.

“It’s the same on the weekend. I want us to win.

“We haven’t had some great results, our performances have fluctuated, so we need a strong performance, we need to win. That will get us fifth spot, we’ll know where we finish and what competition we’re in next year.

“I think that’s important, but again, that doesn’t change anything in terms of how I feel about the work we need to do.

“But it is important we win, absolutely, coming off the back of our recent form.”