“It’s who we are, mate.”
Ange Postecoglou sent a typically assertive message to the naysayers over Tottenham’s tactics in their crazy defeat to Chelsea on a memorable Monday night of football.
Being reduced to nine men on 55 minutes meant it was always going to be an uphill battle for Spurs, but they didn’t help themselves.
They continued to play the same way they did from the start, including a high defensive line, against their opponents, who had a two-man advantage.
Had Chelsea had their shooting boots on more, their 4-1 triumph would’ve been a whole lot bigger.
It’s been suggested that Postecoglou should’ve set his team up differently after both Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie were given their marching orders, however, the straight-talking Aussie insists nothing will make his team shake their principles.
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Asked about Spurs’ tactical approach after going down to nine men, Postecoglou told talkSPORT: “It’s who we are mate.”
He continued: “Even with five men, mate we’ll have a crack.
“It’s who we are… and we’re still in the stages of building a team here and a style of play and I’m not going to chase some short-term fix for what I believe is going to be important for us in the long-term.”
When asked if he was disappointed with the red cards, Postecoglou added: “No, not really. It’s part of football. Romero’s been outstanding for us, he’s a very physical sort of defender and that’s part of his strength.
“Obviously he went a bit too far today, according to the referee, and you’ve got to accept that.
“I thought Destiny was a bit unlucky, I thought there were a number of challenges out there that probably went unpunished. But again, he’s only a young man, he’ll learn from that.”
And in an interview with Sky Sports, he said: “You have to accept the referee’s decision, that is how I grew up.
“This constant erosion of the referee’s authority is where the game is going to get – they are not going to have any authority.
“We are going to be under the control of someone with a TV screen a few miles away.
“The decision is the decision. In 26 years I have had plenty of bad decisions, I have had plenty fall in my favour. It is what it is.”
Dejan Kulusevski put the home side ahead on six minutes, but Chelsea got level through Cole Palmer’s penalty after Romero’s late challenge on Enzo Fernandez. Nicolas Jackson then scored a late second-half treble to see Mauricio Pochettino’s men run out 4-1 winners.
Postecoglou was dealt two major setbacks in the first half with both James Maddison and Micky van de Ven going off with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
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