Marco Silva believes the pressure on Rodrigo Muniz’s shoulders is a “privilege” after the Fulham striker extended his scoring form against Tottenham.

The Brazilian has starred for the west Londoners in recent weeks, scoring seven goals in his last seven appearances in the Premier League, including an impressive brace in the 3-0 win over Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs earlier this month.

Muniz’s rise to become the Cottagers’ main striker comes after he struggled for minutes at the start of the season, being out of favour and sitting behind Raul Jimenez and Carlos Vinicius in the pecking order up front.

Speaking ahead of Fulham’s clash with Sheffield United on Saturday, head coach Silva said: “The pressure is a privilege for Rodrigo’s situation.

“He is in a much better position now than he was three months ago. Why should he feel so much pressure now? Three months ago he was on the bench and fighting to have a chance to score.

“He’s playing so well, he’s improving and working hard and scoring goals so why should he feel so much pressure now?

“The defenders are more aware of him and it’s fantastic for a striker when you feel the people around you trust that you can solve the problems for us and that you can be a decisive player.

“I see it as a privilege rather than something which is not good.”

Chris Wilder’s Blades sit bottom of the table and are looking for just a fourth league win of the season after a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth last time out snapped a three-match losing run.

Silva warned that his players cannot afford to be complacent and expects their hosts to bring the fight at Bramall Lane.

“If we go into the game complacent then we are going to have problems, we will be surprised,” Silva added.

“We have to have the same ambition, focus and desire which we played the last few games with.

“They will fight really hard to get the points and they are not in a position they wanted, bottom of the table is tough and every game where you don’t get points you are getting more in trouble.

“They have shown the capacity to react and their last game was an example.”

Fulham’s form of four wins in seven has seen them close the gap on teams in contention for European places and Silva insists motivation is high among his players to finish the season well.

“We are full of motivation,” he said. “The motivation was really high against Tottenham and we felt that at Craven Cottage.

“It is about motivation, desire, the will to go every time and the commitment. We always have to be on top and it will always be the same for us. Every time we go into a match we have to do our maximum.”

Brazil and Tottenham forward Richarlison said he was in a “depression” after the 2022 World Cup.

The 26-year-old was his country’s top scorer in Qatar, with three goals in four games as they went out in the last 16, but he struggled mentally after the tournament.

He has admitted he saw a psychologist, who “saved my life”.

“I’d just played in a World Cup, man, at my peak,” Richarlison told ESPN Brasil. “I was reaching my limit, you know? I don’t know, I’m not going to talk about killing myself, but I was in a depression there, and I wanted to give up.


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“Even I, who seemed to be mentally strong. After the World Cup it seemed like it all fell apart.

“I think the therapist, like it or not, saved me, saved my life. I only thought rubbish. Even on Google, I only searched for rubbish, I only wanted to see rubbish about death.

“Before I went to training, I wanted to go home, I wanted to go back to my room because, I don’t know what was going through my head. I even went and told my dad I was going to give up.

“It’s kind of sad to talk like that, you know? What I went through after the World Cup, discovering things here at home from people who had lived with me for over seven years. It is crazy.

“To go to my father, who was the guy who chased my dream with me, and say, ‘Dad, I want to give up,’ is crazy.”

Richarlison, who has scored 11 goals in 26 games for Spurs this season, was sceptical of seeking therapy prior to his episode, but now recommends it to anyone struggling.

“Today I can say, look for a psychologist, if you need a psychologist, look for one because it’s nice for you to open up like that, for you to be talking to the person,” he said.

“Today a (psychologist) came to thank me for taking this to the world of football, to the world, outside the pitch too, because it is very important and, whether we like it or not, it saves lives.

“I had this prejudice before, I thought it was nonsense, I thought I was crazy. In my family, there are people who think that anyone who goes to a psychologist thinks they are crazy, they think they are insane.

“But I discovered this and thought it was wonderful. The best thing, really the best discovery I’ve ever had in my life.”

Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane will make a return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face his former club in August.

A friendly game between the German giants and Tottenham will take place as part of the Visit Malta Cup on Saturday, August 10.

The match marks a return to north London for Spurs’ all-time leading goal-scorer, who joined Bayern for £100million last summer.

Team-mate Eric Dier will also face his former club after the defender left for Bayern in January.

A statement on the Tottenham website read: “This mouth-watering curtain-raiser to the new season takes on extra significance, with the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, Harry Kane and long-serving defender Eric Dier having recently joined the Bundesliga champions.

“This will be a 12th meeting with Bayern in our history and only the fourth to have taken place on home soil.

“We memorably overcame the German giants on our way to UEFA Cup success 40 years ago.”

England captain Kane has been impressive in Germany this season, scoring 37 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions.

He leads the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with 31 so far for Bayern, who currently sit second, 10 points off league leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the table.

Last time Bayern and Tottenham met was in the 2019/20 Champions League group stage and Spurs were beaten 7-2 at home before Bayern won 3-1 in the reverse fixture.

What the papers say

Arsenal and Chelsea are set to battle it out for 20-year-old Sporting defender Ousmane Diomande. According to The Sun, Arsenal have matched their London rival’s £51million plus bonuses offer to lure the Ivory Coast international from Lisbon.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is attracting interest from Bayern Munich among other clubs for his work at the Seagulls. But the Daily Mirror reports the Italian coach is in no rush to decide on his future.

Everton’s England Under-17s goalkeeper Douglas Lukjanciks is attracting attention across Europe. The Daily Mail reports Bayer Leverkusen are among the clubs interested in the 16-year-old.

Promising Nigerian striker Hafiz Umar Ibrahim is set for a trial at Chelsea, thanks to a little help. Raheem Sterling played a key role in linking the 18-year-old with Stamford Bridge, according to the Evening Standard.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Timo Werner: Tottenham are keen on making the 28-year-old RB Leipzig and Germany forward’s loan deal permanent, but are in no rush to trigger a £14.5million option to buy, according to Four Four Two.

Federico Chiesa: Liverpool and Manchester United want to sign the Italy forward, 26, from Juventus, reports Teamtalk,

Tottenham attacker Manor Solomon’s injury problems have continued after he underwent minor knee surgery on Tuesday.

Solomon has not played for Spurs since September due to a meniscus injury to his right knee.

Ex-Fulham loanee Solomon had surgery in October and had hoped to return at the start of 2024, but has been beset by a string of setbacks.

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou revealed last week Solomon had made “no real progress” and that the medical team were looking at other strategies to aid his recovery.

It has now been confirmed by Spurs that Solomon had “minor surgery to his meniscus on his right knee.”

Solomon did reflect on the “most difficult and frustrating” period of his career earlier this week.

“Lately I’ve been away from social media and focusing solely on my rehab and getting back on the field,” the 24-year-old said on Instagram.

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“The last period has been the most difficult and frustrating in my career. In the past five months I’ve been working as hard as possible to get back to doing what I love the most, but unfortunately, I haven’t fully recovered yet.

“At the same time, I’m full of motivation and will continue to do everything in order to be back stronger than ever to help my club and country. Thank you for your support.”

Israel international Solomon has made six appearances for Spurs and provided two assists since he joined last summer from Shakhtar Donetsk.

England manager Gareth Southgate is facing the unwelcome prospect of some potential members of his Euro 2024 squad flying halfway across the world for a post-season friendly.

The PA news agency understands Tottenham will play Premier League rivals Newcastle at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22.

Newcastle’s FA Cup exit last weekend opened the door for the Magpies to face Spurs in a post-season friendly, which will see the two clubs jet off for Australia immediately after their final league game of the season on May 19.

A decision on the squads taken Down Under will be made nearer to the time, but Southgate could see three players potentially in his Euro 2024 squad fly halfway across the world days before they link up on international duty.

Tottenham’s James Maddison and Newcastle attacker Anthony Gordon were named in the England squad for the March friendlies with Brazil and Belgium, while Kieran Trippier is a strong candidate to feature in this summer’s European Championships in Germany.

It is possible all three could jet off to Australia for the post-season friendly and days after they return to England they will be required to join Southgate’s squad for a training camp ahead of Euro 2024.

The Football Association has been approached for comment.

England manager Gareth Southgate is facing the unwelcome prospect of certain members of his Euro 2024 squad flying halfway across the world for a post-season friendly.

The PA news agency understands Tottenham will play Premier League rivals Newcastle at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22.

Newcastle’s FA Cup exit last weekend opened the door for the Magpies to face Spurs in a post-season friendly, which will see the two clubs jet off for Australia immediately after their final league game of the season on May 19.

A decision on the squads taken Down Under will be made nearer to the time, but Southgate could see three players potentially in his Euro 2024 squad fly halfway across the world days before they link up on international duty.

Tottenham’s James Maddison and Newcastle attacker Anthony Gordon were named in the England squad for the March friendlies with Brazil and Belgium, while Kieran Trippier is a strong candidate to feature in this summer’s European Championships in Germany.

It is possible all three could jet off to Australia for the post-season friendly and days after they return to England they will be required to join Southgate’s squad for a training camp ahead of Euro 2024.

The Football Association has been approached for comment.

Aston Villa are the favourites for Champions League football next year despite a disappointing turn in their form, says David James.

With Tottenham having lost heavily at Fulham on Saturday, Villa had the chance to move five points clear of Ange Postecoglou's team and consolidate their place in the top four when they faced West Ham on Sunday.

However, they ultimately had to settle for a point at London Stadium, thanks to Nicolo Zaniolo's equaliser, though West Ham had a late winner disallowed by VAR.

It left Villa, who have been unable to maintain the level of performances they showed at the end of 2023, still in control of their destiny, sitting three points above Tottenham, in fifth, albeit Spurs have a game in hand.

With five teams potentially set for a Champions League place this season, former Villa goalkeeper James fancies his old club’s chances of finishing ahead of Spurs and sixth-placed Manchester United.

James told Stats Perform: "I think Villa are the favourites, it's easy to say.

"Unai Emery has played for teams that are used to not winning all the time even if he's had success in cups and he's got a group of players who are confident, despite the results today, to get wins.

"I can't really see the top four changing. It'd be nice if there is a challenge, but Villa are my old team, so I actually want them to finish third."

Emery's side have been the surprise package this term, and despite some onlookers assuming they would fall away due to inexperience and their Europa Conference League duties still ongoing, they have remained firmly in top-four contention.

However, Villa have a difficult run-in, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool still to play, though Tottenham also have to face those four opponents as well.

Despite backing his old side, James conceded Villa have their flaws, and after being unbeaten at Villa Park until their loss to Newcastle United in January, they have now gone on to lose there on two more occasions, against United and Spurs.

James said: "We saw Tottenham batter Villa strangely after that long record that Villa broke at home, it felt like it was only going to be the away form that would let them down.

"It's reversed now that it's the home form that's letting them down and not the away form. They're still ahead of Tottenham points-wise."

Emery has rejuvenated Villa since he replaced Steven Gerrard at the helm, and James thinks the former Arsenal boss belongs in elite company.

James said: "I've heard some wonderful stories about him as well about his videos and stuff like that but if you can get the players to buy into what you're doing and by getting them the results they will try everything that you ask them to try then, you're on for a winner.

"I think Unai's got that at the moment. The problem is, and I think this is indicative of the Premier League at the moment and why Arsenal might be refreshing their challenging City and Liverpool.

"These two clubs here today have been ruling the Premier League for five, six years now. Emery's success would always be qualifying for the Champions League at the moment as opposed to challenging for the Premier League.

"So, yes, it's building blocks, but they're all going in the right direction. I just think that you've got a very capable manager with a capable group of players and they are signed to see the dividends of that."

Sasa Lukic said facing James Maddison in Fulham’s win over Tottenham was like a “dress rehearsal” for Serbia’s European Championship opener against England this summer.

Lukic netted his first Fulham goal in a 3-0 victory which prevented Ange Postecoglou’s side from moving into the top four.

The Euro 2024 finals will be Serbia’s first as an independent nation and Lukic used Saturday’s victory to ready himself for their Group C clash against Gareth Southgate’s men in June.

When asked how excited he is to face England, Lukic said: “Yeah, I can’t wait.

“Already today was like a dress rehearsal because Maddison was there and it’s definitely going to be a good game against England at the Euros.

“I’m proud to be Serbian and play for my country. It is our first time in the Euros after a long time and I hope to do well.”

Lukic’s strike came in the 49th minute at Craven Cottage after his knee connected with Timothy Castagne’s cross.

The midfielder, who battled with injury earlier this season, talked about his relief at getting amongst the goals and starting in Fulham’s last four matches where they picked up three wins.

“I am so happy to score my first goal for Fulham,” Lukic added. “It was my knee, it was strange, but it’s important to score a goal. I hope to score many goals for Fulham.

“This was my fourth game in a row. Prior to that, I didn’t play much and it was hard, it wasn’t an easy time.

“I worked a lot on myself. But it proved that with a performance like tonight and the ones against Manchester United and Brighton, work has been paying off.”

Rodrigo Muniz scored a brace to extend his stunning run in front of goal to seven in his last seven.

Lukic is not surprised with the Brazilian forward’s form, highlighting his work ethic in training.

He said: “No, I’m not surprised at all, I see him everyday in training, I see how he works, I see how he behaves. He only has to keep it going.”

Tottenham captain Son Heung-min described their 3-0 defeat at Fulham as “unacceptable” and urged his team-mates to use it as a wake-up call.

Spurs entered this fixture on a high after an emphatic victory at Aston Villa last weekend.

It meant fifth-placed Tottenham could leapfrog Villa and reclaim fourth spot with all three points at Craven Cottage, but they were blown away as Rodrigo Muniz continued his excellent form with a goal either side of half-time.

Sasa Lukic also found the net after 49 minutes with his first goal for Fulham, who have now won four of their last six matches.

“Yeah, it is very disappointing and very frustrating,” Son told Sky Sports.

“Everybody has to look in the mirror and say, ‘it was my fault’ because it was not good enough. It was not near the level where we put the effort all season.

“This time it was very, very disappointing. The attitude, the performance, it was not good enough. I think everyone needs this as a big wake-up call.

“It is unacceptable. You always have lessons and including me it was unacceptable that performance and the result.

“We make two steps backwards and now need to make a strong step forwards because after the international break we have massive game and it will be very crucial.”

Tottenham started poorly and could have conceded twice inside the opening 11 minutes, but Cristian Romero made crucial blocks to deny Muniz and Andrea Pereira.

The visitors eventually regrouped and went close through captain Son and James Maddison, who both failed to hit the target from inside the area and Fulham punished Spurs in the 42nd minute.

Antonee Robinson produced an excellent cross from the left, which Muniz controlled before he side-footed into the bottom corner.

It was 2-0 immediately after half-time when Lukic deflected in Alex Iwobi’s cross with his knee and Muniz wrapped up the scoring after 61 minutes.

Calvin Bassey’s effort was parried onto the post by Guglielmo Vicario and Muniz bundled in for his seventh goal from his last seven matches to consign Tottenham to a painful defeat.

Boss Ange Postecoglou expressed his disappointment and doubled down on his previously stated notion that Champions League qualification is not crucial for the development of his team.

“The second half after we conceded the second one, we just didn’t reach the levels of intensity and tempo we’ve had all year,” Postecoglou reflected.

“Then it was very hard for us to get any kind of control or traction in the game. It seemed like we were chasing the whole time, so it was a disappointing night for us.”

On missing out on the chance to return to fourth, Postecoglou replied: “I don’t see fourth as the prize.

“This club has finished fourth before. It’s finished second before.

“Fourth is not my end goal. I don’t want to finish fourth if we haven’t grown as a team and developed as a team.

“Success is built on, I think, more tangible stuff. If we finish fifth and if I think we’ve got a team to challenge next year (after the summer transfer window), then I won’t be disappointed.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva toasted another fine result, with this win making it four from their last six matches, which includes victories over Brighton and Manchester United.

“If not the best (performance), one of the best,” Silva insisted.

“The first half was the best of the season because the players did it brilliant. It was almost perfect.

“A crucial moment to score and it was really important to score two quick goals to kill the game.

“A well deserved three points.”

Rodrigo Muniz scored twice as Tottenham missed out on the chance of moving into the Premier League top four after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Victory would have meant Ange Postecoglou’s side moved a point ahead of Aston Villa but the north Londoners instead finish the weekend in fifth.

Muniz’s double took his top-flight tally to seven goals in his last seven appearances on a day where the Cottagers shone in west London.

Sasa Lukic scored his first goal of the season as Marco Silva’s side bounced back from last week’s 2-1 defeat by Wolves at Molineux.

Fulham looked to strike an early blow through the in-form Muniz, who was freed into a pocket of space. After his initial shot was blocked by Cristian Romero, Andreas Pereira’s rebound narrowly missed Guglielmo Vicario’s right-hand post.

The hosts’ momentum continued and after Romero was called into action again to block Pereira’s close-range attempt, Muniz proved to be a handful when he outmuscled Radu Dragusin with his back turned to goal, setting the tone for a physical encounter.

Willian was enjoying himself. The experienced 35-year-old, who had a knack of scoring goals against Tottenham in his Chelsea days, looked to punish them again but his first-time effort was stopped by Vicario who got down quickly to keep the scores level despite a one-sided opening period in favour of the hosts.

Spurs rode the storm and began to create chances of their own.

Destiny Udogie exploited space to run in down the left and his cutback found James Maddison on the edge of the area. The England international’s body position suggested he was going for the far post but he opted to go near, dragging his effort wide instead of the open net which Fulham keeper Bernd Leno left unoccupied.

Fulham’s efforts deserved a goal and they got just that. The electric Antonee Robinson broke away and he delivered a perfect ball to the dangerous Muniz before the Brazilian forward performed an intricate touch and powered home into the left-hand corner.

The Cottagers had played the perfect game up to this point and it continued after the break when they doubled their lead.

Fulham’s full-backs had been allowed space all game and this time it was Timothy Castagne’s turn to maraud forward. The right-back’s cross met the thigh of Lukic who had made a late surge into the box and the ball fizzed past the helpless Vicario for a second time.

Muniz’s spectacular run of form took another turn. The forward was well positioned in the box to scrap for the loose ball and claim his brace before he was serenaded with a standing ovation when he was substituted minutes later.

Joao Palhinha thought he added a fourth but referee Robert Jones deemed the strike offside after an interference from Raul Jimenez.

Ange Postecoglou said it was a joy to meet Owen Bright again and a number of other Tottenham fans after the club recently showed its support for Down Syndrome Awareness Week.

A group of young people with Down’s syndrome were invited to the training ground along with their families to watch Spurs players take part in a training session on Wednesday.

The Tottenham players wore a range of colourful mismatched socks, provided by Nike, to show their support for the #LotsOfSocks campaign, which embraces the fact that no two people are the same regardless of the number of chromosomes they have.

Individuals born with Down’s syndrome typically have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two, with mismatched socks the perfect way to illustrate no two people are the same ahead of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.

Postecoglou met the group of young people with Down’s syndrome and got the chance to see Spurs fan Bright again, who stole the show at the club’s Fans Forum event in September with a question to the Tottenham boss.

Bright greeted Postecoglou with a big hug before the Australian coach showed the young Tottenham fan a picture of the pair from the Fans Forum event, which took pride of place in his manager’s office at the training ground in Enfield.

The young fans, who are members of Tottenham’s official disabled supporters’ association SpursAbility, also got to meet players from the men and women’s teams.

Asked ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fulham if providing joy to fans was one of the best parts of his job, Postecoglou replied: “Yes it is but it is also reciprocal.

“I get a lot of joy out of it too, mate.

“It is not every day you walk out to training and someone runs up to give you a hug. It’s not the usual greeting I get!

“And it wasn’t just Owen. There were quite a few of his friends there and I walked out and saw a bunch of Spurs supporters buzzing. There is no better feeling.

“As much as we understand particularly the players, they are their heroes and the joy they give them, we get equal joy out of it mate because it’s such a fantastic feeling to see people who are passionate about their football club and how much joy it gives them.

“Yeah, it’s just a privilege to be in that space.”

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou has backed Radu Dragusin to grasp his opportunity with the January recruit primed to make his full debut at Fulham on Saturday.

Micky Van de Ven has been ruled out of the London derby with a minor hamstring injury, which is only set to sideline the Dutch defender until after the international break.

Van de Ven’s absence will hand Dragusin a first start since his move from Genoa in a transfer that could rise to £25million.

“I’ll take the suspense out of it. He’ll start tomorrow,” Postecoglou revealed.

“It’s a good opportunity for him. We obviously brought him in with a view that it was evident we were very short in that area and he’d had a very good half-season in Italy.

“He’s had to be patient and I said to him when we signed him I couldn’t tell him when he’d get an opportunity but he would get an opportunity.

“I thought he did well when he came on the other day (against Aston Villa). It was good that the team was already in a good rhythm but the scoreline was still 0-0.

“He contributed to how we finished the game. He’s a pretty assured young guy. He has belief in himself, he has really good people around him.

“I think he can bring something to the team. He’s a very strong defender, very good in the duels and I think we’re going to need that tomorrow.

“More than anything that half-an-hour at least gives him that game-time he needs at the level.

“He was exposed to a very good team and some very good opposition players. I think that will help him tomorrow, particularly at the beginning of the game.”

While Spurs will be without centre-back Van de Ven at Craven Cottage, Richarlison could return after a knee injury.

The prognosis for Manor Solomon is not positive, with the former Fulham loanee no closer to being fit again.

Solomon has not played since September due to a right knee injury.

Postecoglou said: “Yeah, no real progress. He’s still in that position of not being really comfortable where he’s at.

“So, we’ll give him the time he needs to be in the palace where he can recover. The medical team is looking at some other strategies now.

“Micky, nothing too significant. He’ll miss tomorrow, but we’re quite confident if the recovery goes well with the international break, he shouldn’t miss too much more.

“I think he came off at the right time to be honest, so while he misses tomorrow, it’s still positive.

“Richy, he trained today so we’ll just see how he pulls up. If he pulls up OK, he’ll probably be available.”

What the papers say

Manchester United have identified 21-year-old Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite as their top transfer target this summer, according to the Daily Star. Branthwaite has a deal with the Toffees until 2027.

The Daily Mirror says United will pursue Branthwaite regardless of boss Erik ten Hag’s future at the club, with the England Under-21 international valued at £75million.

Meanwhile, Everton are said to be interested in Hull defender Jacob Greaves, Football Insider reports, with the 23-year-old likely to leave the club if they miss promotion to the Premier League.

The i says Tiago Pinto, who was formerly at Roma, is interested in taking over the sporting director role from Dan Ashworth at Newcastle, who looks to be headed to Manchester United.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Bruno Guimaraes: Football Transfers says Manchester City are interested in a bid for the 26-year-old Newcastle midfielder who has a £100million clause in his contract.

Pedro Neto: Wolves will be in a battle to keep their winger after Tottenham joined Liverpool, Newcastle and Arsenal in the race to sign the 24-year-old.

Ange Postecoglou remained grounded despite his delight with Tottenham’s all-round display away to 10-man Aston Villa and a potentially key victory in the race for Champions League qualification.

Sunday’s clash pitted fourth against fifth, with the hosts knowing victory would move them eight points clear in the last Premier League spot guaranteed a place at Europe’s top table.

But Villa collapsed in the second half against Spurs, who celebrated James Maddison and Brennan Johnson goals before home captain John McGinn saw red for a reckless challenge on Destiny Udogie.

Son Heung-min and substitute Timo Werner wrapped up a 4-0 rout in stoppage time, meaning Spurs are now just two points behind fourth-placed Villa with a game in hand.

“The whole game I was really pleased with,” boss Postecoglou said. “The way we handled the whole day, to be honest.

“Obviously we knew it was a significant game and a tough venue, good opponent, the atmosphere here behind their team.

“The first half we did well to make them work hard more than anything else. They had to try and contain us and the threats they had we snuffed out.

“I got a sense towards the back end of the first half that they were beginning to already tire a little bit. That was the message at half-time – just persevere, stay calm, play our football, maintain our intensity, which was going to be important.

“And we did, we got off to a flier and then the quality of our football was excellent to see out the game.”

Put to Postecoglou that it was quite the swing avoiding an eight-point gap and instead cutting Villa’s advantage to two, he said: “I guess so.

“I said before the game that I still think there’s a significant part of the season to go. There’s still 11 games for us anyway.

“There’s so many challenging games and every game will have meaning between now and the end of the year. Not just for us, for every team.

“There’s a fight at the top, there’s a fight down the bottom, there’s a fight in the middle somewhere, so we’re all fighting for something.

“If we had lost today, I don’t think that would have discounted us from whatever other people put on as targets for us.

“I’ve been consistent saying what’s important for me is our growth as a team and I thought we saw that today. It was another positive step forward.”

Postecoglou did not seem overly concerned about the injury that forced off Micky van de Ven just before Spurs’ opener as the impressive centre-back “does not think it is too significant”.

Villa have a Europa Conference League last-16 second leg at home to Ajax to contend with before returning to Premier League action at Fulham next weekend.

Unai Emery wants to refocus on Thursday’s match and move on from a second half he called a “very bad day in the office”.

On McGinn’s red card, the Villa boss said: “John McGinn has played here and been strong, comfortable, very passionate and he’s a not a player doing things with bad intentions.

“I think the red card maybe could be a red card but not bad intentions.

“I didn’t speak a lot with the players, only I told them ‘keep going, move on, think of Thursday and West Ham on Sunday’ – and with John the same.”

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