01.12.2023 17:05 h

Postecoglou bullish his plan will turn Tottenham into 'big club'

Ange Postecoglou said he will not shy away from his principles due to the daunting task of facing Manchester City with a mounting injury list as he tries to install a change of mentality at Tottenham.

After getting off to the best ever start of a new manager in the Premier League with a 10-game unbeaten run, Spurs have lost their last three to slip to fifth in the table.

That has coincided with the loss of James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Rodrigo Bentancur and Richarlison to injury, plus a three-game ban for vice-captain Cristian Romero.

Postecoglou has drawn criticism for his refusal to adopt a more conservative style without a number of key players through injury and suspension.

But he insisted he will not back down, even in the face of going up against the English and European champions, who have not lost at home in over a year.

"Every time we put a team out there it's about us becoming the team we want to become," Postecoglou said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

"Through that process there's going to be some challenges, as there is now, some tough times and you just have to stay focused on what you're trying to achieve.

"For me these are the important times because this will show what kind of football team we want to be. You can sort of shy away, say we have injuries, we're playing Man City away but you're either going to be a club that tries to knock off the big clubs or you are a big club. You are one or the other.

"My hope and my ambition for this club is to make it a big club and to do that you have to be successful and win things. To win things you have to have a plan, stick to it and believe in it."

Bentancur is set to be missing until well into 2024 in the latest injury blow to Postecoglou.

The Uruguayan had only recently returned from an eight-month layoff due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury before suffering an ankle problem in last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

"Talking to him yesterday, he's such a positive guy. If it was me I'd be a hell of a lot grumpier around the place," added Postecoglou.

"He's got a really positive outlook. He knows that he's been through a tough time and now he's got to go through a shorter tough time but he also knows that, and he felt it when he was out there, that he hasn't lost anything as a footballer."

Spurs players were upset that the challenge by Matty Cash that injured Bentancur was not met with a red card.

This week saw proposals from football's lawmakers IFAB for the trial of sin-bins for specific offences such as dissent and tactical fouls.

But Postecoglou is not in favour of such an innovation.

"Bin it mate, bin the whole idea. Just forget about it," he said.

"I don't understand why they keep interjecting themselves into the game. There's not much wrong with the game, I don't think there's a need for it."