Postecoglou aiming for Tottenham victory … even if it helps Arsenal

Postecoglou aiming for Tottenham victory … even if it helps Arsenal

Ange Postecoglou has said he does not understand why some Tottenham supporters would prefer to lose against Manchester City on Tuesday if it means Arsenal do not win their first title for 20 years. Arsenal’s victory against Manchester United on Sunday means City must win for the first time in the Premier League at the ­Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to reclaim top spot before the final round of matches on Sunday.

A defeat or draw would leave ­Arsenal in pole position. Tottenham’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League will be alive unless Aston Villa beat Liverpool on Monday night, and regardless Postecoglou was adamant that his side will be aiming for victory.

“People are allowed to feel the way they do,” he said when asked for his thoughts on some fans wanting to lose to stop Arsenal from winning the league. “I don’t understand it, I never will. I understand rivalry. I was part of one of the biggest ones in the world in the last couple of years with Celtic and Rangers but I’ve never, and will never, understand if someone wants their own team to lose. That’s not what sport is about.

“But I think I’ve been consistent and really strong in my beliefs that it’s important for this football club not to look for magic bullets to get to where we want to. It’s hard work, it’s resilience, it’s quality, not to fall for any false dawns – and know what real success looks like: trophies. Anything else in between, bragging rights, whatever it is, is absolutely meaning­less to me or anyone involved with me. We’ve got a game we want to win.”

Yves BissoumaView image in fullscreen

City finally tasted victory at Spurs’ new home at the sixth attempt when beating them in the FA Cup in ­January but have not scored a goal there in four Premier League defeats. Yet Postecoglou, who confirmed that Yves Bissouma will not play again until next season after sustaining a knee injury in the win against Burnley on Saturday, believes history counts for nothing against City, who are attempting to seal an unprecedented fourth successive title.

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“My recent home record against them is one game, one loss, so I’m not going to take any confidence from that,” he said. “What I’ll take confidence from is we’ve got an opportunity to measure ourselves against the best: a team that has consistently strived for honours. We want to emulate them one day and the best way to do that is to test yourself against them. We’ll play our football and see where it takes us.”

Asked whether City’s dominance was a problem for the league, Postecoglou said: “They haven’t done it yet. That’s an important point. But if you think they have then it does become an issue because all of us are just putting down the red carpet for them. I’m not going to do that and I don’t think any managers will.

“It’s in the hands of each individual club to try and break that dominance and create teams that will challenge.”