Ange Postecoglou drops hint as to how he will treat cup matches differently as Tottenham boss
The preparation Ange Postecoglou would put in for Celtic’s cup matches should give some indication of how he will approach them as the new Tottenham head coach.
The Australian was appointed at Tottenham this week with the hope that he will bring attacking football back to the north London club and rebuild a squad that disappointed last season in the Premier League and across all competitions, particularly in the domestic cups. Spurs have not won a trophy in 15 years and will be looking to Postecoglou to lead them back to Wembley.In an interview filmed this month on YouTube for Open Goal, the then Celtic manager was asked how he had prepared his team for their Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers after losing out to them in the competition the previous year and it is clear that he makes a clear definition in preparations for cup and league matches.
“[Last year’s defeat] was a good reminder because we stumbled against Rangers in the same game and we said that we don’t want to have that feeling again,” he said. “You use that as a little bit of a motivation and to be fair there was also a fair bit of trash talk going around so I didn’t have to say too much. I let others talk for me and the boys were well aware that they had to do their talking on the pitch and the boys were good at staying disciplined.”So I didn’t have to motivate them but in terms of preparation every cup game is the same for us. We practice penalties the whole week before a cup game, knowing that if it goes to penalties I don’t want anyone to think that we haven’t prepared regardless of who we are playing from the first round onwards.
“So already the players are thinking differently from the start of the week because every day we’ll take penalties. They think ‘ok, this is a different game, this is a game of consequence’. I said to the boys ‘we don’t review cup losses, why do you want to review a cup loss? It’s finished, it’s gone’.
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“So if we lose the game we don’t sit there and review it. It’s finished. A league game is different. You can lose a league game and we’ll review it because we’ve got another one. So they know through all these things that it’s a different mindset when they go into cup games.”Celtic won the domestic treble this season but when asked whether he had imagined he would have turned the Glasgow side around this quickly, lifting five out of six trophies across two seasons, he explained his mentality when he walks into each new job and each new season.
“I don’t go into a job with expectations. I go in thinking ok this is what I need to do and if I do it we will get success,” he said. “I’ve never really had goals or ambitions because I don’t want to limit it.
“If I said in the first year that we would just win a trophy, well we won a trophy in my first four months. The players would then go and feel they didn’t need to do anything else because we got it.”We started last year by saying that we wanted to win everything and this year the same and next year we would want to win everything. That way you’re not putting a limit on what the players could possibly achieve.
“Most people like to have a little bit of a target and an idea of ‘what are we trying to do here’.