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  • Julian Taylor at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Postecoglou pleased as Spurs chop down flailing Forest

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Nottingham Forest 1

Julian Taylor at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Ange Postecoglou was "pleased" with his Tottenham Hotspur side following what transpired to be a routine 3-1 win in the end over struggling Nottingham Forest.

A commanding second half by Spurs saw them move into the Premier League’s top four – and a coveted Champions League spot – thanks to goals from Micky van de Ven and Pedro Porro which came after a first half own goal from Forest defender Murillo.

The visitors lie perilously above the relegation zone, in 17th place, with only superior goal difference separating them from Luton Town. Forest initially equalised with a fine strike by Chris Wood in the 27th minute – and the striker might have created another complexion on their trip to north London had he not hit the crossbar from close range.

Tottenham, though, will travel to Newcastle next weekend in good spirits, even if this was the sort of game they were expecting to win against the side, under the charge of their former boss, Nuno Espirito Santo.

The lack of a noteworthy welcome for the Portuguese - who endured an ill-fated and brief four months with the Lilywhites in 2021 – spoke volumes.

“What I care about was how the team progressed,” said Spurs’ boss Postecoglou.

“I’m pleased with the team today – we controlled the game. We lost our way a bit at the back end of the first half but we were really dominant in the second half against a team fighting for everything. I don’t care about the ‘race for fourth place’ to be honest.

“I could see Forest worked really hard and it was disappointing to lose a goal on the counter attack, but I was really pleased with how we played in the second half.”

Postecoglou knows Tottenham have an important, and challenging, schedule coming up, with the journey to St James’ Park, a home derby against Arsenal and trips to both Liverpool and Chelsea.

He may be dismissive to an extent but Australian appreciates it is a challenging end to the campaign as Spurs seek to finish as high as they can, with help from the likes of the impressive Van de Ven, who weighed in with a quality goal.

“We go to Newcastle next week and have a couple of big weeks so we’re going to need a big squad,” added Postecoglou. “He (Van de Ven) has a great appetite and determination,

“He was great defensively today and it was a great strike for his goal. In my mind we keep providing an environment for these guys to improve, not just Micky but all the players.”

Espirito Santo, meanwhile, was both philosophical and dignified on his return to former employers, despite leaving north London empty handed.

“The first half was very good, we had good spells,” said the Forest chief. “I was disappointed at the start of the second half – we should have been more aggressive as we knew Tottenham would be strong. I wanted us to sustain in the second half. We need to regroup now and go again.

“It was a pleasure and an honour to work here,“ he admitted. “It didn’t work out. I keep on going, Spurs keep on going and it was special to come here. But my focus was on Forest.”


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