EPL

Postecoglou not worried by Tottenham's slow starts

By Sports Desk April 01, 2024

Ange Postecoglou has brushed off concerns over Tottenham's lack of first-half goals.

Spurs produced another late show to down Luton on Saturday, with captain Son Heung-min scoring an 86th-minute winner in a crucial 2-1 victory.

It has been a familiar tale for Tottenham, who have now fired a blank in six consecutive first halves but produced another rally after the break to claim a vital win like in recent results against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Brighton.

Postecoglou’s side have not scored in the first half at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2024 – a run of seven matches since Pape Matar Sarr’s ninth-minute goal against Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve – but the 58-year-old is unfazed by the statistic.

“The disappointing thing about the first half is the goal we conceded,” Postecoglou insisted.

“Our football was good. We created good chances, one-vs-ones, we hit the post, they blocked quite a few shots and they defended desperately.

“I think overall there was nothing wrong with our football. The goal we conceded, that was poor and that’s something we need to address.

“With a lot of our football, it becomes a war of attrition. We need to put pressure on the opposition because we know we’re going to run our games really strongly.

“I thought we made Luton work really hard in the first half and I thought you saw in the last 10 to 15 minutes that they paid the price for that.

“Obviously if we got an early goal it would have opened them up and made the game easier for us, but winning the way we did isn’t a bad thing either.”

Luton claimed a shock third-minute lead when Tahith Chong fired home from a Ross Barkley cross after a slick break.

Tottenham should have levelled before half-time but Timo Werner scuffed wide, while Son hit both posts after he rounded Thomas Kaminski.

Postecoglou still introduced Brennan Johnson at the break, which had the desired impact with the Wales international able to create the equaliser with a superb cross that Issa Kabore put through his own net.

Johnson then laid off for Son’s winner to help keep Spurs within touching distance of fourth-placed Aston Villa.

“I thought the lads handled it really well in the second half,” Postecoglou said.

“There was a bit of anxiety around the place. Every game now for every club there will be because there’s extra significance, but I thought the lads stayed really calm during that process, kept playing our football and probing and eventually got their rewards.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards cut a downbeat figure at full-time but tried to draw on the positives for his injury-hit team.

Edwards added: “I have to give all of us some credit because we’ve pushed them all the way. It’s hard because I know we haven’t won much this year but we’re winners and we want to win.

“It hurts. I am normally better once I’ve watched the game back and we have to focus on Arsenal (now). Seven weeks, it’s all done and I’ll try get some sleep then when hopefully we can be in the league still.”

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