Postecoglou admits Tottenham are still a work in progress

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Ange Postecoglou admits Tottenham are a “long way off” the team he wants them to be.

Spurs slumped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Chelsea last night, a result that could have serious implications to their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

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They go into Sunday’s game at Liverpool seven points behind Aston Villa in fourth with a game in hand.

Postecoglou has maintained all season that his team are a work in progress but he refused to rule out a title challenge next year.

He said: “Even when we were going well at the start I still think we were a long way off. That being said you always want to maintain success in that building process as you’re at a big club as you can’t afford to drop off the pace too much. As then you can’t continue growth.

“We’re a long way off but that doesn’t mean we can’t challenge next year. To be the team I want them to be we are fair way off but I’m not dismissing we have to be competitive and challenge for success year on year. Every year is a building year but also an opportunity for success.”

Spurs have lost their last three games, including a morale-sapping defeat to Arsenal in the North London derby, but Postecoglou insists such runs come with the territory.

He added: “I’m sure they [the players] are hurting but it’s part of the process. Big games will be big games and you need to feel that pain and understand that the intensity will always be there when you are representing this club.

“Every job I’ve taken has had tough bits, sometimes at the start, sometimes in the middle and sometimes at the end. Nothing surprises me. It’s how you grow. You don’t grow if everything runs smoothly.”

The form of Son Heung-min has dipped in recent games and he was largely on the periphery at Chelsea. Postecoglou feels taking over the captaincy from Harry Kane – as well as playing at January’s Asian Cup – have taken their toll on the South Korean.

“It’s a been a big challenge for him this year on a lot of fronts, not just the games and leadership,” he said.

“It’s only natural that at some point that he has to embrace this challenge. It’s not going to change. You need to able to embrace the relentlessness of the challenges and understand that. He’ll do just that and will work his way through it.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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