Postecoglou, Tottenham star on same page as Big Ange lauds ‘maximum effort’ from players

Jason Soutar
Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou and Dejan Kulusevski after a win
Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou and Dejan Kulusevski after a win

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou is content with a fifth-place finish in the Premier League insists he has “lofty ambitions”.

Spurs confirmed their place in next season’s Europa League with a 3-0 win at relegated Sheffield United on the final day of the season.

Dejan Kulusevski’s double and Pedro Porro’s strike ensured they finished above Chelsea.

That represents progress in the first season after star striker Harry Kane’s departure and they will look to push on next term.

“It is a great challenge in the Premier League and taking over a big club that didn’t have a great year last year, you understand it is not going to run smoothly,” Postecoglou said.

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“I have enjoyed the whole season. I have got some lofty ambitions for the football club and until we reach that point I am not going to be smiling too much.

“I have enjoyed it and looking forward to pushing on from here.

“I am obviously not delighted with the way we finished the season but in fairness to the players and staff we have been in the top five all season, in a year where there was a fair bit of upheaval.

“We finished eighth last year, player turnover, different football, different way of training, it is not easy to maintain a level when you are trying to do that.

“Even in our tough periods this year we have still been competitive for the most part. I think I have got maximum effort, which is all a manager can ask for.”

Spurs star expects Ange’s men to push on next season

Meanwhile, Tottenham winger Dejan Kulusevski has said he expects his side to kick following their fifth-place finish.

Kulusevski said: “The team performance has been good, we improved a lot. We wanted more and we were close to getting more but sometimes you have to accept life and keep working and believing in what you are doing.

“We started from zero, we changed everything, everything about the club.

“It is not easy, even if the beginning was the easiest, it’s often like that, but I think next season with much more experience, we know what the coach wants, now we go away and rest and come back much hungrier and better.”

Sheffield United’s season ended in a fitting way as they head back down to the Championship with the joint third lowest Premier League points tally of 16, while the 104 goals they have conceded and goal difference of minus-69 are also records they will not be proud of.

Blades boss Chris Wilder said: “We have not got enough personality in the team, in my opinion, to put teams to bed.

“Any sort of adversity and we crumble. We weren’t housed for the Premier League, from a physical point of view.”

“I would love to have Chris Basham, George Baldock and John Egan available. I have got to say I don’t think I’d have been saying the same thing if we had those boys in the team.”

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