Postecoglou admits Spurs have 'lost belief' as top four bid fades

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou (Glyn KIRK)
Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou (Glyn KIRK)

Ange Postecoglou admitted his Tottenham flops have "lost belief" after a dismal 2-0 defeat against Chelsea left their hopes of Champions League qualification in tatters.

Postecoglou's side needed a win at Stamford Bridge to close the gap on fourth-placed Aston Villa in the race to finish in the Premier League's top four.

But instead they slumped to a third successive loss after goals from Trevoh Chalobah and Nicolas Jackson fired Chelsea to victory over their London rivals.

Fifth-placed Tottenham are seven points behind Villa with four games left, while Unai Emery's men have three to play.

With their Champions League hopes fading, Postecoglou conceded his players are no longer playing with the confidence that infused their performances earlier this season.

Taking the blame for Tottenham's untimely slump, the Australian said: "It wasn't good enough and I have to take responsibility for that, it is on me.

"I am the manager and I am the one putting them out there and it was not good enough.

"When we put in a performance like we did in the first half it meant my message wasn't getting through."

Tottenham's issues with defending set-pieces were decisive again, leaving former Celtic boss Postecoglou to bemoan his side's collapse in the final weeks of his first season in charge.

"I feel like we've lost a bit of belief and conviction in our football and that is on me to change that," he said.

"It wasn't about conceding the first goal, it was our approach to playing football and we were nowhere near good enough. That is on me.

"We've been in a bit of a grind for a while now, that is part of our challenge and part of our growth. We have to go out there and perform and sometimes you have to grind out. We were poor today."

- Pochettino plea -

Asked if Tottenham's top four bid was over, the downcast Postecoglou added: "I don't know how to answer these questions. We were poor today, what is the point of thinking about anything else?

"There's no major formula. We will work hard and make sure we get it right. My responsibility is to make sure we play better next time."

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has masterminded two wins over his former club Tottenham this term.

But those successes have been rare bright spots in a difficult first season in charge for the Argentine.

Eighth-placed Chelsea could still salvage their campaign by qualifying for Europe, but even that is not guaranteed to save Pochettino from the club's demanding co-owner Todd Boehly.

Boehly has already sacked Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter since taking charge in 2022, with Pochettino responding to recent reports about his future by pleading for time to revive the club.

"Maybe today because we won I can explain a little bit better. I want to say enough is enough. I think all managers need time to translate their ideas and their philosophy. We need to have time, but it is not my decision," Pochettino said of his future.

"If we want to match the history of Chelsea I think there is a lot of work to do. We will see if we have time to build this way.

"It's difficult to see every single week that I am under scrutiny and judgement. Yes, it's not my decision to be here or not to be here."