Postecoglou: Kinnear a ‘distinguished manager and an outstanding player’

Ange Postecoglou paid tribute to the late Joe Kinnear after Tottenham beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 to move back into the top four. 

The former Tottenham defender passed away on Sunday afternoon aged 77 after a long battle with vascular dementia.  

Dublin-born Kinnear, who also managed Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, Wimbledon and Luton spent a decade at Spurs, winning an FA Cup, two League Cups and a UEFA Cup. He also had 26 caps for Ireland, before embarking on his managerial career. His most notable achievement was guiding Wimbledon to sixth place in the Premier League in 1993-94

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It was fitting that two defenders, Pedro Porro and Micky Van de Ven, scored two second-half goals to take Tottenham back into the top four. Postecoglou led the tributes after the game and said Kinnear was a ‘distinguished manager and an outstanding player.’ 

“I just heard about it now,” said the Spurs manager. 

“He’s one of those figures who will always be remembered at this football club for his achievements. A distinguished manager and an outstanding player. A sad loss. Obviously, all our love and support goes out to his family and friends. 

“I never got the opportunity to meet him, but everyone speaks very highly of him as a person which is always the barometer around these things. A sad loss, particularly to those closest to him, but he’ll never be forgotten at this football club.” 

Postecoglou was upbeat about Tottenham’s current defenders, particularly Van de Ven, who set them on their way to victory early in the second half after Chris Wood had drawn Forest level on what as an unhappy return for former Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo. The Portuguese manager’s side are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference. 

Defender Murillo put Spurs ahead with an early own goal, and although Forest flickered into life briefly after Chris Wood equalised midway through the first-half, they were largely second best to a Tottenham team that are now ahead of Villa on goal difference with a game in hand. 

And the comeback was sparked by two spectacular Spurs goals early in the second-half. Van de Ven led the way with a cracker from the edge of the penalty area, and Porro followed up five minutes later to make sure of all three points. 

“Micky has a real appetite and determination to be the best he can be. He does that every day and his defensive work was outstanding today. It was a great strike for the goal and a credit to him. 

“We’re not going to be the ones who put any limits on his growth and I don’t think he’ll allow us to do that. In my mind, with all of these things I think that if we keep providing an environment for these guys to keep pushing themselves, not just Micky but others will be dragged along as well because they’re all competing.”

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