Tottenham preparing to give it ‘a crack’ against Man City – Ange Postecoglou

Ange Postecoglou insisted Tottenham would give it “a crack” when champions Manchester City visit on Tuesday.

Micky Van De Ven’s 82nd-minute winner helped Spurs beat Burnley 2-1 on Saturday to snap a run of four consecutive defeats and close the gap on fourth-placed Aston Villa to four points.

Villa could secure Champions League football with victory over Liverpool on Monday, but a defeat would leave the door slightly ajar for Tottenham.

Spurs host City on Tuesday in a match that may leave fans conflicted, given a positive result against Pep Guardiola’s men would boost Arsenal’s title hopes.

Postecoglou’s own views were not clouded as he said: “We’ve still got six points to play for. That’s the key thing for us.

“There’s a big game for us on Tuesday night against City and it will be a great test for us and the Sheffield United one.

“I think we’ve got what it takes to make a game of it (against City) and play our football and see where that takes us.

“They’re an outstanding team. They and Arsenal are the benchmark of the competition right now.

“They’re 20-odd points ahead of us and we’ve got some ground to make up, but it’s at our place, it’s 95 minutes of football and we’re going to have a crack.”

It was a tactical tweak by Postecoglou which helped turn the Burnley match in Spurs’ favour after he shifted Van De Ven out to left-back.

With Destiny Udogie and Ben Davies ruled out for the rest of the season, Emerson Royal has deputised there of late, while Oliver Skipp started against Burnley.

However, Postecoglou explained his reluctance to move Van De Ven out of his central defensive role for the visit of City.

He added: “I’ve been mindful with Micky that he’s had a couple of injuries and the demands of playing left-back are a lot different to playing centre-back.

“What’s more important is what we’re trying to build here and I was reluctant to put him out there for that reason alone.

“It’s been quite a disrupted season and playing full-back as opposed to playing centre-back is a lot different from a physical perspective, but yeah I thought – for the last bit of the game – it made sense.

“Skippy was only ever going to be able to play for more than about 60 minutes. He hasn’t played for ages and Radu (Dragusin) coming on I thought was very good.

“So, it helped us get over the line and Micky’s goal was outstanding.”

Burnley were relegated with defeat in north London, but boss Vincent Kompany acknowledged it was always going to take “something special” to keep them up.

“Sheffield (United), Luton and us, on paper we had to have a go financially, but we were still never resourced as much as the other clubs were so you’re having to do something special,” Kompany reflected.

“At the highest level you learn the most. I think there is a part of me that we have got to learn our lessons from this season.”


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