Ange Postecoglou: Tottenham will not ease off against Manchester City to deny Arsenal the title

Pep Guardiola (left) and Ange Postecoglou (right) – Ange Postecoglou: Tottenham won't ease off against Manchester City to deny Arsenal the title
Pep Guardiola (left) and Ange Postecoglou (right) - PA /Martin Rickett

Ange Postecoglou has dismissed any notion of him and his Tottenham team stepping off the gas against Manchester City next week – even though they could effectively hand rivals Arsenal the Premier League title.

Spurs head coach Postecoglou has insisted he wants three wins from Tottenham’s final three games – starting against Burnley on Saturday – but also warned that simply qualifying for the Champions League would not make Spurs a Champions League club.

Postecoglou has been hit with another injury blow, as Brazil confirmed Richarlison was not called up to the Copa America squad because of a new calf injury that appears to have ended the striker’s season.

Seven points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, who have two games remaining, Tottenham cannot afford to lose any of their remaining games to stand a chance of overtaking them.

Beating or drawing against City next Tuesday night could effectively gift the title to Arsenal, but that is clearly of no concern to Postecoglou, whose team have suffered four successive defeats.

“I’m here fighting tooth and nail every single day for everything I can get for this football club because that’s my responsibility,” said Postecoglou. “I would not give up on any cause even the most lost of causes because then I’d be abstaining from my responsibilities. I want us to finish the season strong. I want us to try and win three games of football and see where that takes us.”

Burnley must beat Spurs to avoid being relegated on Saturday, but cannot expect any favours from Postecoglou.

Asked if he and his players had given up on the season, Postecoglou replied: “That’s a harsh term, give up. What does that mean I come in here at 12 o’clock, have a latte, go home and just let the guys train? I don’t give up on anything.

“I never said I didn’t care about finishing top four. What I said was finishing top four does not mean we’re going to be the team I want us to be next year. That’s not what will define us. I don’t give up and I’d be surprised if anyone in my position at this level will go in with anything other than 100 per cent commitment to fight for everything because if you don’t invariably you fail.”

When it was put to Postecoglou that Tottenham may be better to qualify for the Europa League, a competition the club would have a better chance of winning next season, he said: “I get that, but it doesn’t mean you don’t want to finish as high as possible and get into the best possible competition.

“Finishing fourth and getting into the Champions League does not make you a Champions League club, in my opinion. It just gives you an opportunity to be in there. To me, to be a Champions League club and to be at that level requires more than finishing fourth in one year.

“Do I believe right now we’re a Champions League club? No we’re not. That’s my belief.

“We’ve still got work to do. That doesn’t mean I don’t want us to reach that Champions League. That’s self-defeating in terms of what I’m trying to create. Should we finish fourth and make the Champions League, it isn’t going to change my view of where we’re at and what we need to do in the summer. That’s still really clear in my head.”

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