EPL

Ange Postecoglou hails Tottenham’s composure in victory at Nottingham Forest

By Sports Desk December 15, 2023

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou was delighted with his side’s composure as they made it back-to-back wins for the first time since October with a 2-0 Premier League victory at Nottingham Forest.

Dejan Kulusevski picked out Richarlison to head home the opener in first-half stoppage-time before turning goalscorer when he capitalised on a poor clearance from Matt Turner to double the advantage at the City Ground.

Tottenham then had to see out the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Yves Bissouma’s dismissal for a high lunge on Ryan Yates but they held on despite Neco Williams hitting the post late on.

Postecoglou told Sky Sports Premier League: “It’s a tough game here, you have to earn whatever you get. They’re obviously pretty desperate for points and the crowd get behind them.

“Every time they get a throw-in, you feel like you’ve conceded a goal and they’re launching it in the box. We had to deal with a lot of things we don’t normally have to deal with. Just great character.

“We had some adversity obviously to go down to 10 men. Some of our football was good as well, so a bit of everything.

“For the most part we stayed pretty calm and composed, the back four, Ben Davies and Romero were excellent, Vic was good when we needed him.

“We always had an outlet, we always looked dangerous, which meant we just didn’t camp ourselves in there. So really pleased.”

However, Postecoglou remained concerned about Tottenham’s lack of discipline as Bissouma was sent off for the second time this season and his 70th-minute dismissal was Tottenham’s fourth red card of the season.

Postecoglou added: “I haven’t seen it but I’m assuming they slowed it down and saw it. It’s been a little bit of an issue. It’s a fine line with those things.

“The players are aware of that, they don’t want to miss games. I think today was more of a desperation tackle than something nasty.

“We’ve had to deal with that a few times this year and you can’t go on doing it like that because eventually we’ll pay a price for it, and we did against Chelsea.

“It’s something we talk about constantly but it’s a fine line between their commitment to what we’re trying to do and not overstepping the mark.”

Forest boss Steve Cooper bemoaned the error that led to Tottenham’s second goal that left his side with a mountain to climb.

Under pressure from Heung-min Son, Turner’s attempted clearance went straight to Kulusevski, who rifled into the net to make it 2-0.

Cooper said: “The result is obviously the most important and will always write the narrative and we accept that.

“I think we sort of played the game we thought was the right one to play in terms of playing on a fairly closed pitch and not trying to give Spurs too much space to play in because we could see how dangerous they can be.

“Obviously the goal, we’ve come off the plan, we haven’t doubled up, we’ve let him come inside.

“It’s the one time they’ve put a real free cross in and we’ve not marked in the box. And that’s the level and that’s the bit that we’re not doing very well in terms of when we’re given moments in and around the opponent’s box, we’re not making it count.

“Then obviously we’ve come out and we started the second half well and then the second goal is not something you can do at any level, never mind in the Premier League.

“So that killed the momentum but I’ve got no complaints with the general performance.”

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