Despite the odds being against them, Tottenham Hotspur came away from the Etihad with a hard-earned point after a thrilling 3-3 draw against Manchester City. Ange Postecoglou has now explained what he told his players at half-time.
Spurs took the lead early on through a finely worked Heung-min Son goal, but the Tottenham skipper awkwardly knocked the ball into his own net less than two minutes later. City then took the lead through a wonderful team goal, finished off by Phil Foden, to hold the advantage at halftime.
However, it was the Lilywhites who came out fighting in the second half, levelling through a Giovani Lo Celso effort with 20 minutes to go. All that hard work was almost undone when Yves Bissouma gave the ball away on the edge of his own box, and Jack Grealish slotted home what appeared to be the winner.
Right on the stroke of 90 minutes, however, Spurs got themselves back in the game once more, after Brennan Johnson floated an inviting ball into the box for Dejan Kulusevski to poke home and spoil City’s party.
Postecoglou wants players to believe in themselves
He said: “There would probably only be a few words I can say. Joking aside it was more trying to get the players to believe in themselves rather than anger at them. I’m always mindful that from where I am on the touchline it seems simple but out there against an unbelievable team it is difficult.
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“It was a case of whatever happens I will take responsibility, particularly if it doesn’t go well. But just go out there and believe in yourselves.
“How you react to the tough periods factor in how you are measured in the course of the season. We stuck to our guns and our beliefs, we aren’t out of the tough period yet, we’re going to be thin going into January but how you react is important for what we are trying to build.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Whatever Ange said at half-time, it did the trick. The Spurs players came out and made life really difficult for City, which is evident in the fact the home side failed to register a shot for around 35 minutes in the second half. The spirit and belief in this Tottenham side right now is unlike anything I’ve seen at the club in a very, very long time.