Ange Postecoglou will make time to thank Newcastle manager Eddie Howe for indirectly helping him get the Tottenham job before he attempts to upset him by ending the London side’s losing run.
Popular Australian coach Postecoglou came to Tottenham’s notice after his success in charge at Celtic – a role that only came his way after Howe turned it down.
“Oh absolutely, it was a sliding doors moment,” Postecoglou acknowledged. “There’s probably been no bigger decision in me being here today than Eddie knocking back the Celtic job. I haven’t thanked him, I probably should.”
Tottenham’s promising start to the season has ground to a dramatic halt with four defeats in the last five games amid a flurry of suspensions and injuries.
A home match against injury-ravaged Newcastle represents an excellent chance to get back to winning ways.
Postecoglou, however, was not making any promises to the club’s supporters when he addressed the media ahead of the match.
He said: “I’ve been consistent in saying that [it is a long-term project] when things are going well. But I don’t think it was a brilliant start. A brilliant start would’ve been taking advantage of the dominance we have in games. But we’re not.
“For the football to be brilliant, it’s got to be there in its entirety and I dunno how many times I’ve said I still think in our front third we’ve got a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, that’s costing us at the moment in terms of results. That’s the challenge for us, we’ve got to keep pushing on and try to become better in those areas.
“We’re at the beginning of trying to build something. I think there’s been progress made in many areas. There are areas we still need to do a lot of work in. We’ve obviously had challenges, injuries have disrupted our ability to have a consistent line-up, players who started the season well and were very influential.
“So, with all that context – but that happens to every football club – we’ve just got to work our way through this difficult period. We’re still at the beginnings of what we’re trying to build.”
Away from the pitch, Postecoglou addressed an approach from Swansea to approach Tottenham coach Chris Davies with a view to offering him their manager’s job.
“I’ve had a brief discussion with Chris and he knows we’ve got a busy week so we’ll focus on that,” Postecoglou explained.
“He’s an outstanding individual, he’s done some great work with us and great work in the past. It’s not surprising to me that Swansea or other clubs would look at him. It’s what you want to be honest. You want good people and when you’ve got good people they’re going to attract attention. From my perspective, whatever that transpires to, it’s very much in Chris’ hands. It’s his decision in terms of what he wants to do moving forward and obviously the club will deal with it from there.”