Daily Star

TOTTERING HOTSPUR

Ange backed after ‘fragile’ Spurs blast

- ■ by MIKE WALTERS

MICKY VAN DE VEN claims Tottenham players are “still positive” about delivering Ange Postecoglo­u’s plan – despite missing out on the Champions League.

Postecoglo­u’s post-match blast after some Spurs fans seemed happy to lose to Manchester City – because it damaged Arsenal’s chances of winning the title – generated some intrigue.

After the Spurs manager’s frustratio­n boiled over, including one exchange with a fan behind the dugouts, Van de Ven (inset) insisted the players were “still trusting of what the gaffer wants.”

But the feelgood factor built up by Big Ange’s first season is in danger of evaporatin­g after his scathing remarks following the 2-0 defeat by City on Tuesday night.

Postecoglo­u raged: “The last 48 hours have revealed that the foundation­s are fairly fragile.

“It just means I’ve got to go back to the drawing board with some things.

“I probably misread the situation as to what I think is important in your endeavour to become a winning team, but that’s OK. That’s why I’m here.

“Maybe I’m out of step, but I just don’t care, I just want to win. I want to be successful at this football club, it’s why I was brought in.

“So what other people, how they want to feel, and what their priorities are, are of zero interest to me.

“I can’t dictate what people do. They are allowed to express themselves any way they want. But when we’ve got late winners in games it’s because the crowd’s helped us.”

Van de Ven, one of the shining lights this season, insisted the players’ approach was unaffected by fans wanting to deny Arsenal the title at all costs. The defender said: “We just wanted to win the game. We just wanted to play our football and our best game. We didn’t really feel like a strange feeling.

“We just focused on the game. We are not really focusing on the stands.”

Tottenham still need a point at rockbottom Sheffield United to guarantee a fifth-place finish.

But the riches of a top-four place have gone to Aston Villa, and Van de Ven said: “Let’s end the season strong, of course. But we want to be a top team. We have to build on something.”

 ?? ?? ■ FEELING THE PAIN: Heung-min Son (right) and James Maddison see the Champions League slip away
■ FEELING THE PAIN: Heung-min Son (right) and James Maddison see the Champions League slip away
 ?? ?? ■ WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? Ange rages at fan during the match with City
■ WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? Ange rages at fan during the match with City
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