Gary O’Neil revealed Wolves’ FA Cup dream after they reached the quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory over Brighton.

Mario Lemina’s goal after just 77 seconds booked a home tie with Coventry next month, just the second time Wolves have reached the last eight since 2003.

Brighton, though, bossed the game and Facundo Buonanotte missed a fine chance before goalkeeper Jason Steele sliced a good opening wide in stoppage time.

O’Neil has underlined his desire for success in the competition and admitted he told his players the goal was to lift the trophy ahead of their third-round tie at Brentford in January.

“When we set off to travel to Brentford I remember delivering the pre-match meeting and spoke about our aim, at that moment, was to win the FA Cup,” he said.

“I know how farfetched that sounds but every win you get a step closer. We have had to give a lot to get here.

“Coventry will be a massive test, they are a good side, play good football and we will be expected to roll them over by everyone outside and that can create problems.

“Whoever we played in the quarter-final we would see it as a great chance. We’ve beat Chelsea twice and Tottenham and Man City here. We love playing here, I’m sure they (fans) will be dreaming of a semi final and I’ll be analysing Coventry.”

Wolves snatched a second-minute winner when Lemina fired in at the second attempt after Steele flapped at Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s cross.

But the hosts never built on their lead and Brighton pushed them – without forcing Jose Sa into a meaningful save.

Wayward efforts from Simon Adingra and Jakub Moder never troubled Sa but Buonanotte should have levelled instead of heading wide just before the break.

Lewis Dunk also nodded wide before Wolves lost Hwang Hee-Chan to a hamstring injury.

O’Neil added: “Someone has to play for us and we needed to get through to the next round. I’m hopeful it’s not too serious. I’d be amazed if he plays at the weekend (at Newcastle).”

Brighton pressed for a leveller which never came but they should have taken the tie to extra time in the final minute of stoppage time.

Steele raced up for a corner and when the ball was nodded down he was left unmarked six yards out but fired wide.

Boss Roberto De Zerbi said: “We played well, we made too many mistakes – especially in the first half – to score. We created a lot of chances and we played well enough to score.

“I’m happy with the performance, the style we played, the attitude, the personality. It was very tough playing without nine injured players.

“The future of Brighton was on the pitch, a lot of young players. Maybe they are not all ready for this level but we are working well and doing great things as we are keeping the same level of last season – with a lot of problems.

“The game against Fulham is on Saturday and we have to be ready to fight.”

Mario Lemina fired Wolves into the FA Cup quarter final after a nervy 1-0 win over Brighton.

The hosts reached the last eight for just the second time in 21 years and the first time since 2019, when they made the semi-finals.

There is now a path to Wembley for O’Neil’s side, who will host Championship side Coventry in the next round, but they lived dangerously at Molineux.

Facundo Buonanotte wasted a fine opening and goalkeeper Jason Steele, up for a late corner, missed the chance to take the tie extra time.

But last season’s semi-finalists – who dominated for long spells – could not find a way back from conceding the winner after just 77 seconds.

Brighton – missing eight regular starters including Solly March, Joao Pedro, Kaoru Mitoma and James Milner – were already underdogs even before going behind early.

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s fine turn sent him scampering away from Jan Paul van Hecke down the left and Steele could only flap at his deflected cross.

Lemina and Pervis Estupinan arrived at the far post, with the Wolves midfielder reacting first to slide the ball in at the second attempt.

But, much like Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Sheffield United, the hosts failed to build on their lead.

Brighton recovered from the shock of the early goal and, with Simon Adingra and Jakub Moder shooting off target, got a grip of the game.

There was little suggestion Wolves would add to their lead, although Steele had to be alert to clear at Bellegarde’s feet after he raced on to Igor’s weak backpass.

It was the Seagulls who created the best openings and they should have levelled seven minutes before the break when Buonanotte planted a free header wide from Estupinan’s cross.

Roberto De Zerbi clearly sensed a way back into the tie and introduced Danny Welbeck at the break, with Brighton continuing to press.

Lewis Dunk nodded wide and Wolves’ frustrations grew when they lost Hwang Hee-chan and Lemina to injury.

Yet the changes, with Pedro Neto and Pablo Sarabia called on, briefly gave the hosts much-needed zip even if they failed to add to a slender lead.

The visitors, though, regrouped again and pinned Wolves back without testing Jose Sa as the game entered its final 15 minutes.

Julio Enciso drilled wide from 25 yards, more in frustration than with a belief he would score, and Welbeck nodded over.

Steele, up for a last-gasp corner, should have taken the tie to extra time but sliced wide from six yards as Wolves squeezed through.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder dismissed the clash between Blades team-mates Jack Robinson and Vini Souza in the defeat at Wolves.

The pair squared up, went head-to-head and engaged in a shoving match during Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League loss at Molineux.

Pablo Sarabia’s winner condemned the visitors to a 19th defeat in 26 games and left them eight points from safety at the bottom of the table.

But, despite their plight and players’ frustrations boiling over, Wilder insisted there were no issues.

“That happens at every club up and down the country, three or four times a year,” he said. “Of course you can’t condone it, it has to stay at a level, we have a responsibility to the young kids out there playing.

“That happens behind closed doors at every level, at Man City and the bottom of League Two.

“You don’t want to see it but it does. VAR spotted it and for me, you just move on pretty quickly. They were told about their responsibilities at half-time. We talked to the boys and they are fine and cool.

“We’re a team who is learning in the Premier League, learning on the job and our opponents have been building for quite a while.

“We were competitive. We haven’t got the result but my frustration and criticism of the team are about the big moments. We had enough territory and we have to find that quality they found.

“I believe we played well enough. If you play well you have to come away with something and that’s my frustration and criticism.”

Rhian Brewster and James McAtee tested Jose Sa but the Blades’ threat faded quickly and Sarabia won it after 30 minutes.

He met Rayan Ait-Nouri’s cross with a glancing header – having escaped Yasser Larouci – which found the top corner.

Pedro Neto fired over as Wolves looked for a second, which sparked the confrontation between Robinson and Souza, with VAR opting not to send either off for violent conduct.

The ill-disciplined Blades never recovered and, while there was plenty of second-half effort, they lacked the quality to punish Wolves.

Brewster’s half-chance at the far post, with his sliding effort forcing Sa into action, was the best they created.

Sarabia shot wide for Wolves, who rose to eighth to maintain their hopes of returning to Europe next season.

Boss Gary O’Neil said: “We struggled to find the correct solutions in the second half and a lot of that is on me. That second-half performance gets us nowhere near Europe.

“The lads have done incredibly well and maybe I’m being slightly hard on today, you have no divine right to win, but the second-half performance looks a long way from a team pushing to Europe.

“I’m really pleased with the win. Up to eighth but it’s probably the worst I’m going to feel for the next hour, being eighth, because I was really disappointed with the second half.

“We had to show grit, determination and dig in. I thought the lads were excellent in sticking together.”

Sheffield United players fought amongst themselves as they slumped to another damaging Premier League defeat in a 1-0 reverse at Wolves.

Team-mates Jack Robinson and Vini Souza clashed in the first half with the ill-disciplined Blades left rooted to the bottom of the table following the narrow loss.

The pair squared up with the visitors already behind to Pablo Sarabia’s first-half header and they will need to channel any further fighting spirit into a survival bid which looks increasingly doomed.

Chris Wilder’s side are eight points from safety and another poor performance offered no hope for their chances.

In contrast, the victory was Wolves’ first top-flight win at Molineux this year and lifted the hosts to eighth as they maintain a surprise European challenge.

They are a point behind Brighton in seventh as Gary O’Neil’s men continue to impress and dismiss the predictions of a season of struggle.

Wolves, though, were not at their best at Molineux but did not have to be to beat the Blades.

It took until the 18th minute for some serious action when Rhian Brewster was left unmarked to test Jose Sa, after Craig Dawson blocked his initial effort.

The former Liverpool youngster then had a second opening five minutes later, only to shank his shot wide under pressure from Toti Gomes.

Despite bossing possession, Wolves struggled to open the visitors up and it was O’Neil’s men who conceded the chances.

James McAtee became the latest wasteful Blade when he fired straight at Sa, having escaped from Dawson on the left and United’s misses proved costly after 30 minutes.

Yet again the visitors’ soft underbelly became their greatest issue as they conceded goal number 66 of the season.

Yasser Larouci was caught napping, allowing Sarabia to arrive unchecked to meet Rayan Ait-Nouri’s inviting cross and glance a looping header into the top corner.

With it, Sheffield United cracked with Robinson and Souza pushing and trading blows after Pedro Neto shot over.

In December Wilder had called for his players to “swing some punches” in the battle against relegation – though he would not have expected them to take his words so literally.

VAR gave the pair a pass but the Blades had lost their discipline and needed half-time to regroup.

They did manage to put Wolves under mild pressure and McAtee dragged a shot wide but there was never a sense Wilder’s side would equalise.

Brewster tested Sa as United’s momentum faded and Sarabia went close to a second when he curled wide just after the hour.

A pedestrian half rarely found its groove, though, and the visitors never had Wolves on the ropes as they suffered another knockout blow in the Premier League.

Dejan Kulusevski has acknowledged Tottenham were “too open” against Wolves and insisted they must work harder to get their top-four charge back on track.

Spurs slipped to a 2-1 loss at home to the Midlands club on Saturday, which allowed Aston Villa to leapfrog them and take back fourth position, while sixth-placed Manchester United are only three points behind.

Tottenham lacked fluency against Wolves and while Kulusevski levelled 34 seconds into the second half, the visitors continued to cause Ange Postecoglou’s team problems on the break and it ultimately resulted in Joao Gomes’ second goal after a superb Pedro Neto run.

“Nothing worse than losing so very tough,” Kulusevski said.

“We had a lot of chances, we can’t score them and then not enough discipline when we lost the ball.

“They had two or three counter-attacks where we’re not good enough and they made us pay. After that it is difficult to come back again in the game.

“We were too many guys up front. Too open and not running back as hard as we should. They could score a couple and that’s not good enough.”

Tottenham have shipped chances all season and only kept five clean sheets in the Premier League, but have missed first-choice defenders Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven for chunks of the campaign.

The absence of speedy full-backs Pedro Porro and Destiny Udogie also curbed Spurs’ creativity against Wolves and they face a two-week wait to put things right as Friday’s scheduled fixture at Chelsea was postponed due to the Blues’ Carabao Cup final involvement.

Postecoglou stated hard work would get Tottenham back to the free-flowing football they produced during the opening months of the season and Kulusevski echoed his sentiments ahead of Crystal Palace’s visit on March 2.

Kulusevski added: “We are not playing good enough, especially first half. We are not playing good enough and losing too many balls, so we have to get better.

“We have two weeks to work on that and come back much better.

“We found a couple of solutions (against Wolves) so it is there and we just have to get better and practice in training.

“We are football players, we want to play a lot and two weeks is a long of time, but we have to do the journey. We have to train and get better, so we have to see it as a positive thing.”

Gary O’Neil welcomes Wolves supporters dreaming of Europe even if he is happy to play down such talk.

Wolves completed a Premier League double over Tottenham on Saturday with a 2-1 away win that moved them on to 35 points for the campaign.

It was Wolves’ fourth win from their last five matches and they are now only two points off seventh spot, which has earned Europa Conference League qualification in each of the last three seasons.

O’Neil said: “I haven’t seen the league table but I don’t really set goals in league table positions, especially with a group that I didn’t know when I joined and most of the talk at that point was around relegation!

“To switch talk from relegation to Europe is a big jump.

“I’ll keep pushing them until the final whistle at Anfield at the end of May or hopefully beyond that if we’re able to keep a cup run going.

“Yeah, I love the fans dreaming. One of my favourite parts of the job is I am not allowed to get carried away and think about things that might happen, but I love them being able to think about it.

“If we were on 22 points right now, they would be worrying about, ‘how we get our next win and are we going to stay up?’.

“The fact we’ve got to 35 already, they can talk about a title charge for all I care!

“I am delighted they are enjoying themselves and we got to share another fantastic moment with them, which was really special.

“You can see the connection between the players and the fans, but we just need to keep trying to push it and improve everything.”

Joao Gomes was the two-goal hero for Wolves and the midfielder produced his stellar display in front of Brazil head coach Dorival Junior.

“Was Joao aware of the Brazil manager being here? I’m not sure,” O’Neil admitted.

“I think you know what you’re going to get with Joao whether there is one man and his dog watching or the Brazil manager or the Real Madrid manager or whoever else might want to watch Joao.

“I hope he’s just trying to impress me! It was a good day for him.”

Tottenham will have to lick their wounds for the next fortnight after next Friday’s scheduled match with Chelsea was postponed due to their opponents’ involvement in the Carabao Cup final.

 

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Spurs will stay in England over the next two weeks and prepare for the visit of Crystal Palace on March 2 when Ange Postecoglou will hope to have Pedro Porro (muscle) and Destiny Udogie (knee) fit again.

The duo have produced 13 goal involvements between them this season, but the Spurs boss played down their absence.

Postecoglou said: “We’ve had a lot of injuries this year, we’ve certainly performed better than that when we have had injuries.

“So, I don’t think that’s the reason. Like I said our general level of performance wasn’t where it should be.”

Ange Postecoglou warned no magic wand will get Tottenham’s top-four tilt back on track after they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Wolves.

Spurs had returned to fourth position with a last-gasp victory over Brighton last weekend but were leapfrogged on Saturday by Aston Villa, who won at Fulham.

Joao Gomes headed Wolves into a deserved lead after 42 minutes and, while Dejan Kulusevski levelled 34 seconds after the restart for Tottenham, Gomes grabbed his second after an excellent solo run by Pedro Neto with 63 minutes on the clock.

It consigned the hosts to a frustrating defeat and they have now failed to score in the first half of their last five home matches.

“We will work hard, we’ve got two weeks to prepare for our next game (against Crystal Palace) and there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Postecoglou insisted.

“You take the blows and you’ve got to move on irrespective of what’s happened in the past. You’ve got to make sure you’re ready for the next game.

“There’s no tricks, it’s hard work. I’m not a magician, I’m a football manager. It’s hard work which these guys have done all year.

“Like I said, we’ve got to this point which is pretty decent on the back of some hard work and that’s what we’ll keep doing.”

Spurs were without first-choice full-backs Pedro Porro and Destiny Udogie and struggled to break Wolves down in the opening 45 minutes with home goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario making fine saves to deny Nelson Semedo and Pablo Sarabia either side of Gomes heading in a corner by Sarabia.

Tottenham came out firing after the break, like they had done in recent wins over Brentford and Brighton, with Kulusevski equalising after he dribbled past Craig Dawson and poked under Jose Sa.

Postecoglou’s team were beginning to build a head of steam but Wolves remained a threat on the break and, after Vicario denied Sarabia in the 56th minute, the visitors’ second arrived six minutes later.

Yves Bissouma lost possession after a Spurs corner and Neto carried the ball half the length of the pitch before he cut back and teed up Gomes, who slammed home for his second of the afternoon.

A raft of attacking players were thrown on by Postecoglou, but Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Toti and Neto all squandered promising positions for Wolves before Ben Davies headed wide deep into stoppage-time for Tottenham to ensure Gary O’Neil’s side completed the double over the north London outfit.

Neto’s moment of individual brilliance was his ninth assist of the campaign but his manager issued a hands off to potential suitors after they moved on to 35 points for the season.

O’Neil said: “I still want to push him and get him as close to perfect as a wide player as we can.

“Yeah, I’ve been asked a few times this week about the summer already and I’m not interested in discussing Pedro Neto leaving the football club.

“He is a fantastic player that we spent a lot of money on, that we work very hard on and as far as I’m concerned, we don’t want to lose our best players.

“We have a long way to go yet this season and then hopefully he stays with us and we can keep pushing towards the top half of the table.”

Tottenham’s top-four hopes suffered a blow after a Joao Gomes brace fired Wolves to a deserved 2-1 away win in north London.

Spurs had claimed back fourth spot from Aston Villa with a last-gasp victory over Brighton last weekend but struggled to break down Gary O’Neil’s side.

Gomes headed Wolves ahead in the 42nd minute and, while Dejan Kulusevski levelled for Tottenham straight after half-time, Pedro Neto’s wonderful solo run settled the contest.

Neto raced half the length of the pitch before he teed up Gomes to side-foot home with 63 minutes played to earn the visitors to a fourth win from their last five matches.

There was a big contingent of South Korea fans inside the stadium with two of the nations’ best going head-to-head and Hwang Hee-chan should have scored in the fifth minute.

Wolves worked the ball out wide to Nelson Semedo, who was denied by Guglielmo Vicario and Hwang inexplicably sliced over the rebound from close range.

Spurs threatened for the first time soon after when Ben Davies fired over on the turn before the visitors created another promising opportunity but Rayan Ait-Nouri curled straight at Vicario.

The stop-start nature to the contest continued although Tottenham enjoyed a rare foray into the away penalty area with 36 minutes played only for Kulusevski to side foot well wide from James Maddison’s pass.

Wolves had frustrated the hosts’ well, while also proving a threat and made their dominance count with 42 minutes on the clock.

From Wolves’ second corner of the match Pablo Sarabia picked out Gomes, who headed into the top corner after being given too much space.

It was a deserved breakthrough but sparked a frantic finish to the half with Vicario pushing wide a curler by Sarabia, who was offside before the same player flashed an effort off target.

Ange Postecoglou’s team did test Jose Sa through Emerson Royal but it stayed 1-0 at the break.

It meant Tottenham had failed to score in the first half of five consecutive home matches, although they quickly hit their straps after half-time.

The equaliser arrived 34 seconds into the second half and it was all about Kulusevski.

Richarlison knocked the ball into the path of the Sweden international, who dribbled past Craig Dawson close to the byline before he poked under Sa for a superb sixth goal of the season.

Spurs were pushing for a second but Wolves remained dangerous, especially on the break and Vicario impressively denied Sarabia after Semedo’s cross.

Back came Tottenham with Kulusevski’s low effort excellently tipped wide by Sa before Semedo blocked another shot from the Swedish forward in the 63rd minute.

It earned the hosts another corner but they were hit with a sucker-punch after a moment of individual brilliance by Neto.

Yves Bissouma lost possession on the edge of Wolves’ penalty area and Neto carried the ball half the length of the pitch before he cut inside Emerson and teed up Gomes, who slammed home for his second of the afternoon.

Tottenham attempted to respond straight away and Maddison curled over before Postecoglou turned to his bench with Rodrigo Bentancur, Brennan Johnson and Timo Werner sent on.

Chances remained at a premium until Kulusevski picked out the unmarked Davies deep into stoppage-time but the Welsh defender headed well wide to ensure Wolves completed the double over Spurs.

Ange Postecoglou has leapt to the defence of Tottenham captain Son Heung-min over an incident during South Korea’s recent Asian Cup campaign that left the attacker with a dislocated finger.

Son’s nation exited the tournament in the semi-final stage after a 2-0 loss to Jordan, which resulted in Jurgen Klinsmann being sacked on Friday.

A report this week revealed Son dislocated his finger the day before the last-four clash after the Spurs skipper was involved in an altercation with younger members of the South Korea squad, who had allegedly left a team dinner early to play ping-pong.

Son returned to club duty last Saturday with a key role off the bench in a 2-1 victory over Brighton, where his right fingers were taped up and Postecoglou talked up his leadership.

“From what I know of the incident, and I haven’t asked too much about it, it was Sonny being Sonny. Being a leader and when you’re a leader, sometimes you get in the firing line,” Postecoglou said.

“That’s what leadership is all about. Leadership is not about being popular and trying to make everybody happy, it’s about when you see something that you don’t feel is right then you stand up for it because it’s the best thing for the group. I see that in Sonny.

“Sometimes people are mistaken about Sonny because he’s such a positive guy, who whenever you see him is smiling and everyone has a real affection for him, but he wants to win.

“He doesn’t like standards slipping and I’ve seen him do that around here. If something is not right, he will say it.

“Sometimes it is not the popular thing to do. Sometimes that puts you in the firing line with the playing group and with coaches or the club, but as a leader if you think this is the right thing to do, then you should go strongly on it.

“Sonny by nature is a nice guy. He is very polite and very respectful but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a real winner and a guy who has high standards.

“There is a real discipline you need to last this long, especially in the Premier League, and that drive to have high standards transfers to leadership. The best (leaders) are the ones who are themselves because people respect that. When you try and be somebody else people see through that.”

Son will aim to keep Spurs out in front in the race for Champions League qualification at home to Wolves and should be back in the starting XI after his cameo against Brighton.

Postecoglou has lost full-backs Pedro Porro (muscle) and Destiny Udogie (knee) to minor injuries but has boosted options in midfield and attack.

Yves Bissouma, who started Tottenham’s first eight league fixtures, is primed to make his first club start since December 15 after missing the past two months through suspension and international commitments.

Postecoglou added: “It’s fair to say with Biss, he’s probably a little bit frustrated with the way the season has gone.

“Really early on I could see the way we played really suited him. He really thrived in that responsibility in that role.

“Look, he’s ready to go. He’s had a good week of training. Looking forward with him, Rodri (Bentancur), Madders (James Maddison) is now back, Lo Celso is now available, Skippy and Pierre (Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg).

“We’re looking really strong through there. Not just to start games; the ability for us to change games. I think that’s going to be a really big part of us having a strong finish to the season.”

Ange Postecoglou says Tottenham are still a “long way” from playing the football he wants after he fended off talk he could leave at the end of the season to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Klopp announced last month he would depart Anfield at the conclusion of the campaign following nine years at the club.

Liverpool have reportedly placed Postecoglou on a shortlist of candidates to replace Klopp, with Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso seemingly at the top of the pile, but the Spurs boss insists his focus is on finishing this season strongly.

“I may be on a shortlist? I don’t think I want to say anything about that because I don’t think that’s ever going to enter my brain space for what is my priorities in life and my profession right now,” Postecoglou said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Wolves.

“Well, I am (just getting started at Tottenham). Not just feel — I am. I’ve only been here seven months, so that’s self-explanatory.

“I’ve been at pains to say we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of the football we want to play, the team we want to be, the squad we want to have.

“We’ve had two positive windows, I think we’ve had a decent campaign so far, but we’ve got a long way to go.

“That’s the funny space when we talk about managers. When we’re not going well, then there’s questioning about whether we’re going to be here.

“When you’re potentially going OK, there’s still question about whether you’re going to be here. The reality of it is – most of it is out of our hands.

“I’m never worried or thought about that. I’ve got a history of 26 years of management where you can see pretty clearly what I do.

“I rely on that as my explanation as to where my thought processes are with all those kind of things.

“Right now it’s about finishing the season strong with Tottenham and making sure we’re trying to establish a really strong foundation for who we want to be in the years to come.

“That can only happen if I’m totally focused on what these last 14 games can bring for us.”

Asked if links to Liverpool were a compliment, Postecoglou added: “It depends. If it’s just people throwing up names, then who cares?

“It doesn’t matter, but at the end of the day, if I’m doing a good job then hopefully people will acknowledge that in one form or another — whatever that form is. But so-called ‘chat’, really? That’s of no interest to me.”

What Postecoglou has to deal with in the immediate future is being without both recognised full-backs for the visit of Wolves.

Pedro Porro suffered a muscle strain in training this week, while Destiny Udogie was forced off at the end of last weekend’s dramatic 2-1 win over Brighton with a minor issue.

Postecoglou is hopeful both will be back for Tottenham’s home fixture with Crystal Palace on March 2, with the club not in action next weekend due to Chelsea’s involvement in the Carabao Cup final.

Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) has also returned to training, but Spurs’ back-up goalkeeper Fraser Forster has fractured his foot and is set for a “couple of months” on the sidelines.

Ange Postecoglou says Tottenham are still a “long way” from playing the football he wants after he fended off talk he could leave at the end of the season to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Klopp announced last month he would depart Anfield at the conclusion of the campaign following nine years at the club.

Liverpool have reportedly placed Postecoglou on a shortlist of candidates to replace Klopp, with Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso seemingly at the top of the pile, but the Spurs boss insists his focus is on finishing this season strongly.

“I may be on a shortlist? I don’t think I want to say anything about that because I don’t think that’s ever going to enter my brain space for what is my priorities in life and my profession right now,” Postecoglou said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Wolves.

“Well, I am (just getting started at Tottenham). Not just feel — I am. I’ve only been here seven months, so that’s self-explanatory.

“I’ve been at pains to say we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of the football we want to play, the team we want to be, the squad we want to have.

“We’ve had two positive windows, I think we’ve had a decent campaign so far, but we’ve got a long way to go.

“That’s the funny space when we talk about managers. When we’re not going well, then there’s questioning about whether we’re going to be here.

“When you’re potentially going OK, there’s still question about whether you’re going to be here. The reality of it is – most of it is out of our hands.

“I’m never worried or thought about that. I’ve got a history of 26 years of management where you can see pretty clearly what I do.

“I rely on that as my explanation as to where my thought processes are with all those kind of things.

“Right now it’s about finishing the season strong with Tottenham and making sure we’re trying to establish a really strong foundation for who we want to be in the years to come.

“That can only happen if I’m totally focused on what these last 14 games can bring for us.”

Asked if links to Liverpool were a compliment, Postecoglou added: “It depends. If it’s just people throwing up names, then who cares?

“It doesn’t matter, but at the end of the day, if I’m doing a good job then hopefully people will acknowledge that in one form or another — whatever that form is. But so-called ‘chat’, really? That’s of no interest to me.”

What Postecoglou has to deal with in the immediate future is being without both recognised full-backs for the visit of Wolves.

Pedro Porro suffered a muscle strain in training this week, while Destiny Udogie was forced off at the end of last weekend’s dramatic 2-1 win over Brighton with a minor issue.

Postecoglou is hopeful both will be back for Tottenham’s home fixture with Crystal Palace on March 2, with the club not in action next weekend due to Chelsea’s involvement in the Carabao Cup final.

Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) has also returned to training, but Spurs’ back-up goalkeeper Fraser Forster has fractured his foot and is set for a “couple of months” on the sidelines.

What the papers say

Wolves may look to sell star winger Pedro Neto this summer to avoid breaching profit and sustainability rules, with several papers reporting the Midlands outfit are willing to do business. Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United are interested in the 23-year-old, who has scored two goals with eight assists in 15 games this season.

Barcelona have shown interest in Manchester City and England winger Lauren Hemp with her contract set to expire in summer and reports of uncertainty over her future at the club, the Standard says. Hemp has scored seven goals with five assists this season.

The Guardian says Crystal Palace are looking at former Eintracht Frankfurt boss Oliver Glasner to replace Roy Hodgson if they decide to part ways with the veteran manager, while the Telegraph says former Chelsea manager Graham Potter could replace David Moyes at West Ham.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Michael Olise: Palace will be in a battle to keep their 22-year-old winger with 90min reporting Manchester United are showing interest in the French under-21 international.

Lucas Paqueta: The West Ham midfielder with two goals and five assists in 18 games in the Premier League is on Manchester City’s radar, Football Insider says.

Boss Thomas Frank urged Gareth Southgate to hand Ivan Toney an England recall after his Brentford comeback.

The striker scored his third goal in four games since returning from his eight-month ban for breaching betting rules in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Wolves.

Christian Norgaard’s first-half header put the Bees on course for their first Premier League away win since October, moving them up to 14th.

This week, Frank said Toney – who has one cap – is likely to be sold in the summer but he also feels his star man deserves another chance with England ahead of Euro 2024.

He said: “I know what Ivan can bring and I think it’s something different England don’t have.

“Ivan played a fine game, not a top game but the strikers need to score goals.

“He scored again when he had to and he played with illness, he was ill Thursday, Friday and today.

“It shows everything about his mentality. He is unique.

“He has always been committed for the team, for the club and his team-mates.

“Who knows what is going to happen in the summer? What Ivan is very good at is being in the moment, right now, here, ready. That’s what he is focusing on.

“It would be great if he keeps going. He has all the qualities for it. We know we will create chances for him and big chances.”

Brentford should have won by more after wasting several first-half openings, with Neal Maupay the main culprit.

First, he allowed Jose Sa to save with just the goalkeeper to beat before Sa claimed his header from the resulting corner.

Mads Roerslev blazed over before Maupay missed another opening, shooting at Sa after working space well.

Wolves, who lost Matheus Cunha to a hamstring injury, struggled to get going and fell behind after 35 minutes when Norgaard shook off Craig Dawson to nod in Sergio Reguilon’s corner.

Mark Flekken turned Pedro Neto’s header onto the post just before the break and the forward saw his deflected strike rattle the upright soon after the interval.

From the corner, Brentford failed to clear and when Neto returned the ball Dawson nodded in, only for VAR to rule him narrowly offside.

It was the closest the hosts came to a recovery and Toney sealed the game with a fine cushioned finish from Vitaly Janelt’s cross with 13 minutes left.

“If I sat there last night and tried to imagine things going wrong for us it would have looked like something like that,” said Wolves boss Gary O’Neil.

“It started yesterday when I got the message Channy (Hwang Hee-Chan) was feeling his calf.

“We gave Brentford a little bit of impetus and an unbelievably bad error for the first goal which then gave them the game they wanted, when they take ages over everything,

“You don’t see many goals from chest height in the middle of the goal from three or four yards in the Premier League. From that moment I knew exactly how tough it would be to crack Brentford.

“When you watch that game, it looks like a really bad team performance. It was but there are really clear reasons why.

“Losing Matheus and Channy, the lads being below the level and two terribly bad errors for the goals.”

In-form Ivan Toney struck again as Brentford earned a deserved win at Wolves.

A third goal in four games since the striker’s return from his ban for breaching betting regulations clinched a 2-0 victory at Molineux after Christian Norgaard’s first-half header.

The Bees earned just their third win in 12 Premier League games and gained revenge for Wolves’ 4-1 victory in December and dumping them out of the FA Cup last month.

Pedro Neto twice hit the post and Craig Dawson had a goal disallowed for offside but Wolves failed to score at Molineux in the league for the first time in a year.

Brentford climbed to 14th following a first away win since October, with Wolves 10th, after a victory which should have been greater.

The visitors missed several chances, starting after 11 minutes, when Sergio Reguilon seized on Jose Sa’s misplaced pass to leave Neal Maupay with just the goalkeeper to beat but Sa redeemed himself.

It was a poor miss from the striker and, from the corner, Sa denied Maupay again.

Wolves lost Matheus Cunha – hat-trick hero in the win at Chelsea last week – after just 19 minutes following an awkward fall and it nearly got worse for the hosts a minute later when the Bees blew a big chance.

Reguilon’s low cross caused problems and Rayan Ait-Nouri managed to stop Nathan Collins turning in at the far post, only for the ball to run for Mads Roerslev but the unmarked Dane blasted over.

It was a warning for Wolves and Brentford carried the greater threat with Maupay wasteful again after 31 minutes, shooting straight at Sa after working his way into the box.

The visitors continued to find openings but, ultimately, it was from a set-piece from where they found a 35th-minute opener.

From a Wolves perspective it was a mess as, from Reguilon’s corner, Norgaard shrugged off Dawson’s weak challenge to nod in with Sa nowhere.

For Brentford, it was a deserved lead but they needed Mark Flekken to keep it intact when he turned Neto’s header onto the post two minutes before the break.

The forward was denied by the woodwork again four minutes into the second half when his deflected strike hit the post and just a minute later Neto thought he had conjured a leveller.

Brentford were unable to clear his corner and, when it was returned to the Portugal star, his fine delivery was glanced in by Dawson, only for VAR to narrowly rule him offside.

Fuelled by a sense of injustice, Wolves improved but still struggled to create clear openings. Ait-Nouri nodded over and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde shot over but they never troubled Flekken.

The hosts began to wane and while Toney had been well marshalled he tested Sa from distance with 17 minutes left – before doubling the lead three minutes later.

He had ben quiet all afternoon but a fine cushioned finish from Vitaly Janelt’s cross, after Wolves lost possession, sealed the points.

Mauricio Pochettino admitted Chelsea are “not good enough” after they were beaten 4-2 by Wolves in front of a furious home support at Stamford Bridge.

Matheus Cunha’s hat-trick earned Gary O’Neil’s team a first victory on this ground since 1979.

The hosts meanwhile were booed off at half-time and again at the final whistle, with fans directing their anger at both the players and their manager following a 10th league defeat in 23 games this season.

“I think we are all not good enough at the moment, that’s the reality,” said Pochettino. “Myself also. I’m the first responsible for the situation. What we were showing today was that we are not good enough. I agree 100 per cent.

“We didn’t manage the situation properly. No one can be safe. I don’t want to come here and say I am the best and the players the worst. I think we are all responsible. But the players need to take responsibility also.

“At the moment we are not matching the history of the club. We need to accept that and to be critical but we cannot give up.”

Cole Palmer’s goal after 19 minutes looked to have put Chelsea en route to a fifth home league win in a row, slotting in from close range after Moises Caicedo’s clever ball had picked him out.

But that was to be as good as things got for the home side and within minutes their long capitulation to Wolves had begun. First, Caicedo gave the ball away in midfield and left a gap into which Cunha ran, cutting on to his right foot and hitting a shot that deflected in off Thiago Silva.

Chelsea had more of the ball but Wolves were more efficient and clinical in possession, summed up by the manner in which they took the lead before half-time. Nelson Semedo fed Pedro Neto down the right, his cross was met by Rayan Ait Nouri in the centre, who fired the ball against Axel Disasi and in for an own goal.

Wolves’ third brought fury from home supporters, who had booed their team off at the break. Now they sung the name of former owner Roman Abramovich, as anger at co-owner Todd Boehly’s stalled rebuild of their club boiled over. The goal, Cunha’s second, was well finished off from Neto’s cut-back as Wolves countered with devastating precision again.

Cunha got his hat-trick after Malo Gusto conceded a late penalty. Silva’s late headed goal from a corner for a Chelsea consolation could not take the sheen off Wolves’ victory, nor mask the depth of the Chelsea’s problems.

The Blues led for barely three minutes before Wolves pegged them back, a factor Pochettino believes ultimately led to their confidence and concentration collapsing.

“We didn’t start badly,” he said. “Then the way we conceded the first goal, the team suffered the impact. Rather than build momentum for us and to trust our play, it was a difficult moment to manage after that. The energy dropped.

“The main problem is we feel the pressure and the stress to win, to play well, to perform. We didn’t have time after we scored to build our momentum in the game and to dominate and to play easy and to feel confident.”

Wolves boss O’Neil reflected on a victory that lifted his team above Chelsea and into the top half of the table.

“We have comeback from setbacks a lot,” he said.

“We suffered heartbreak three days ago after working our socks off to get back against Manchester United (before losing 4-3). But it was straight to business.

“Really pleased, 32 points is something the group should be proud of at this stage and let’s see where we can go.”

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