Ange Postecoglou has revealed that he liked Destiny Udogie’s profile as soon as he took a closer look at him in the summer and praised the Italian for the way he has adapted to the inverted full-back role.
The Spurs head coach revealed that the youngster’s desire to improve was evident right from the start of pre-season.
When asked about Udogie, the 58-year-old told Football.London: “When I got the role I had a look at all the players who were out on loan last year and Destiny was one. I really liked his profile.
“Physically he’s got outstanding attributes but he obviously played a different style of football in terms of a lot of times he was used as an attacking wing-back.
“He made a real impact in a tough league as a young man. Serie A is a tough league. He handled himself really well and it was one of those where as soon as we got him in I could see that he wants to improve every day.
“He’s got outstanding attributes and for a 20-year-old he’s already had some really big challenges defensively and he’s handled himself so well. When he has the ball and he runs forward he looks exciting. I’m really pleased to have him in the group.”
Less pressure and more expression at Tottenham
Udogie is not the only youngster who has thrived under Postecoglou so far this season, with the likes of Pedro Porro, Micky Van de Ven and Pape Matar Sarr also hitting the ground running.
The Australian revealed that his modus operandi is to try and absolve the players of any pressure so that they can showcase their best.
When asked how he handles youngsters, he said: “It just depends. You’ve got to make sure young players are going to be able to handle what comes playing at this level. You certainly don’t want to expose them too early because it can have a detrimental effect.
“I’ve always felt – and again it’s something that’s been consistent when I’m building teams – I try to give them as much security as I possibly can, for them to know that there’s nothing that’s going to happen out there that’s going to be terminal in terms of their careers.
“‘Don’t stress about the mistakes, don’t stress about not playing well. I’ll back you – as long as I’m seeing that you’re improving and working hard and doing all the things I need you to do.’
“Because part of that stress as a young player is feeling like you need to play really well to keep your place in the team and fearing that if you make a mistake in front of the whole world that’s going to cost you something.
“It’s not just about the young players, all of us are in the same boat. We’re setting off on a new course and there’s potential it won’t work. So we’re all feeling the same.
“I’m no different to them, because I’m sure if after the first seven games, we were on two wins instead of four, I’m sure [the chairman] would be on at me right now.
“It’s not how I think. It’s not how I’m wired, I don’t care about that. This is what we’re doing. We’re going to go down this road and be successful and I try to provide that framework so at least it releases that anxiety and they can play as themselves, and then it’s up to them.
“There’s no guarantee. If their performances drop, then of course they won’t play but I think it helps the young players focus on being as much themselves without stressing too much about outcomes.”
Spurs Web Opinion
One of the most encouraging things about the current Tottenham team is the fact that they are so young and are far from the finished product.
This team could potentially develop into something special over the next couple of years as the likes of Sarr, Udogie, Van de Ven, Porro, Johnson and others mature.
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