Ange Postecoglou: I will never understand Tottenham fans who want us to lose against Man City

ange postecoglou: i will never understand tottenham fans who want us to lose against man city

Ange Postecoglou understands rivalry from his Old Firm experience with Celtic, but says wanting your own team to lose is unsporting - AP/Jon Super

Ange Postecoglou has said he will “never understand” if some Tottenham Hotspur supporters want their own team to lose against Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Spurs could hand Arsenal, their bitter north London rivals, the advantage in the Premier League title race if they can take points off City. As a result, there are mixed feelings within the Spurs fan base about the prospect of a potential victory.

But Postecoglou said the concept of local bragging rights is “absolutely meaningless” to him as he railed against the suggestion that Spurs fans will not back their team at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I understand rivalry,” said Postecoglou. “I was part of one of the biggest ones in the world in the last couple of years with Celtic and Rangers, and I understand the rivalry. But I have never, and will never, understand if someone wants their own team to lose.

“That’s not what sport is about. It’s not what I love about the game. What I love more than anything in the game is the competitiveness, challenging yourself to beat someone and coming out successful.

“Anything outside of that, it’s got nothing to do with sport. It’s got nothing to do with me. If other people want to treat it that way, that they get pleasure from other people’s misery, that’s not how I’ve lived my life.”

Spurs are still pushing to finish in the top four, which would bring a place in next season’s Champions League, but need Aston Villa to drop points against Liverpool on Monday night.

Postecoglou believes that on Tuesday the majority of the home fans will look to create the same atmosphere as usual at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but also added that he is “not fussed” about how people feel about his team pushing for victory.

No ‘red carpet’ for Guardiola and City

City are one point behind Arsenal with a worse goal difference. A draw or defeat for Pep Guardiola’s side would therefore put Arsenal in control of their own destiny ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Everton at the Emirates Stadium. City host West Ham at the same time

“There is a pretty simple notion to this,” said Postecoglou. “There is a game of football tomorrow night. What do you think is going to happen? What do you think we are going to do as a team? Or any team on this planet? Aren’t we just going to try and win?

“It’s a simple, basic premise. Now how that makes people feel, I’m not really fussed. I don’t really care. I would hate to think that anyone will think we will go out there tomorrow with anything other than trying to measure ourselves against a top team and maybe win a game of football that’s consequential. How are we ever going to become a team that wins things if in the big games we shy away from it?”

Asked about City’s dominance of the Premier League, and the prospect of Guardiola’s team winning a fourth consecutive league title, Postecoglou said: “Well they haven’t done it yet. That’s an important point. They haven’t done it yet but if you think they have, then it does become an issue because everyone is putting down the red carpet for them.

“I’m not going to do that. I don’t think other managers would do that. I’m certainly not going to sit down and watch them win again. That doesn’t sit comfortably with me.”

Spurs will be without Brazilian striker Richarlison, who has been ruled out for the remainder of this season due to a calf injury. Midfielder Yves Bissouma will also be absent after he sustained a knee injury in this weekend’s victory over Burnley.

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