15 June, 2024
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‘It never stops’: no rest for busy Ange on homecoming

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With the dust barely settled on his Melbourne homecoming, Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou will barely take a breath before plunging into preparations for his second Premier League season.

Postecoglou, 58, relished a “special” friendly match against Newcastle United in front of 78,419 fans at the MCG on Wednesday night.

After slipping to a 5-4 loss on penalties, with scores locked at 1-1 after fulltime, Tottenham players were due to fly out later that night for either national team commitments or their holidays 

“I thought it was an enormous effort from them, when you consider the travel we needed to do to get here and obviously straight after a pretty important Premier League game for us, to play tonight,” Postecoglou said.

“They’re going back. A lot of them have got maybe a few days off before Euros or Copa America and the rest will get their breaks. 

“So yeah, the boys will be straight out tonight.”

Maddison goal
 Spurs star midfielder James Maddison celebrates his goal against Newcastle. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

Postecoglou, too, indicated he would quickly get back to business after a short break.

“I got the bus ride back to the hotel and that’ll be it, mate, and then we get going. It never really stops, the reality of it is,” he said.

“But I’ll have some time off. I’ll meet up with the family on the weekend and we’ll go to Greece and switch off for a couple of weeks. 

“But it never stops, there’s plenty to do. But there’s a lot of people who are working, doing the bulk of it. I’m just there to hopefully provide some direction.”

After a fifth-placed finish, Postecoglou indicated he was keen to get any transfer business done early so the new recruits could be in place for pre-season.

Adding more firepower in attack will be crucial as Spurs prepare to juggle their Premier League hopes with Europa League commitments.

A decision is yet to be made on whether to make Timo Werner’s loan move permanent.

“I mean it’s no secret. You saw the way we finished the season,” said Postecoglou.

“We obviously lost Richarlison and Timo as well with injuries. But we’re fairly light on in that area. 

“We started the last season with Manor (Solomon) and (Ivan) Perisic and we were quite healthy in that front third in terms of numbers.

“But as the year went on, it became pretty evident we need to bulk up. We’re obviously in Europe next year as well, so there’ll be more games. 

“So it’s definitely an area of the park we’ll need to strengthen.”

Playmaker James Maddison, who has thrived under Postecoglou since his move from Leicester, relished seeing the reception his manager received in his home town.

“He is quite popular, isn’t he?” Maddison quipped with a smile.

“Ange is a good man. A great character and I love working for him.

“To see him in his country with the support he gets here, it was nice to see.”

Maddison was confident Spurs could hit new heights as Postecoglou’s reign progressed.

“The first season of any new project has its ups and downs,” Maddison said.

“But I think we can achieve big things, hopefully – the first year of many I hope.”

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