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Every word Ange Postecoglou said on Dragusin, Van de Ven, Veliz, Maddison, Romero and transfers

Here’s what the Tottenham Hotspur head coach said on Thursday ahead of the FA Cup third round match against Burnley on Friday evening

Where does the FA Cup rank for you?

Priority-wise it ranks with every other game I’ve been in charge for, they’re all important. There’s not one that you don’t [put] full focus on and my memories are similar to anyone who loves football. The FAC is a significant event on a global scale. The FA Cup final pretty much reaches every corner of the globe and everyone’s had some sort of experience with it. Great competition, great tradition and great history. Looking forward to us having a crack at it.

How important is it to look at every opportunity to win a trophy?

Every club, that’s how you start every season with hopefully the ambition and dream of winning silverware because you know the impact that has on the fans more than anything else. From my perspective it’s an opportunity for us to try to win a competition and for the club of our stature that has to be the ambition every year, that you go into every competition with the aim and the hope of winning some silverware.

Spurs are said to be in talks with Genoa to sign Radu Dragusin, are you confident of getting a centre-back in quickly?

It’s hard to say because I don’t get involved in that side of it. As I said leading into the window, we’ve got some objectives and some targets and we’re working towards that. People behind the scenes and in charge of those areas are working towards that and my role within that is when I’m sought for guidance and clarity on which way we need to go, I provide that.

Is top four the priority or is winning silverware still the holy grail?

I don’t know. I know what I feel about it which is like I said every competition I’ve been in I want to win. So I don’t really rank them or diminish one against the other. To win any trophy you have to earn it. Whether that’s domestic or continental, everything is hard earned. I haven’t sensed anything within this football club that this isn’t a competition that’s important. The club does have a history in this competition – won it numerous times. Some of the greatest memories that many living Spurs fans will have will be around the FA Cup. So I certainly don’t see it that way – I don’t think one thing impacts the other. I don’t know why whatever your ambitions are in the league that has to impact your ambitions in the cup competition.

Does it still feel like a cup game despite it being an all Premier League tie?

I think it does and I think you have to treat it differently. Often teams take a different approach because the Each squad in the Premier League faces unique challenges and priorities. We’re all working for different causes, and you become more and more aware every week that everything you do has an impact on the world. You’re not simply affected this week and next week. You are aware that cup games are it. On this day, you have to give it your all. Teams are typically a little less restricted and freer. Only when the task is completed on the same day can progress be made. It does, in my opinion, have a distinct vibe even though Burnley is a Premier League opponent, and we anticipate a hard game because they have had success in cup tournaments recently.

Any truth in Eric Dier moving to West Ham?

No idea. Not on my radar.

Would you like to keep Eric?

I think Eric is contracted to this football club, and he’s as much in control of his destiny as anyone else.

Can you give us an injury update?

Alejo [Veliz] regrettably sustained a rather serious injury last week. Following the game, he underwent scans, which will likely sideline him for several months. Although he won’t require surgery, he has ligament damage. He is genuinely sad because he has been growing into the opportunity and has worked hard to get it over the previous few weeks. Regarding injuries, no one else poses a problem as of last week.

Gentlemen, let me tell you that Micky van de Ven completed three training sessions with us this week. Regarding tomorrow, we’re not sure if he’ll be involved or not. Everyone else, in my opinion, is as is.

James Maddison seems to be not as far along, can you see him back this month?

He’s not training with us yet mate and I’ve said before until they training with us, it is hard for me to put a timeline on it. He’s running with the sports science crew but not with us and not likely to be with us in the next couple of weeks I don’t think.

Is Cristian similar?

Yeah, Cristian is still very early stages.

Richarlison – how have things changed for him on the pitch?

I believe I have stated time and time again that he is just injury-free, in good physical health, and capable of performing at his desired levels. When the year first began, he was unable to do that. He was playing for us, but he felt like he couldn’t move as freely. It’s not a miracle therapy; instead, he received the necessary care and is now feeling better. In addition to feeling good about his body, he is feeling a little bit more confident in himself as he scores goals. Apart from that, he is putting in a lot of effort for the squad, which has been crucial for us over the past two or three weeks. He’s progressing nicely, and perhaps there will be more.

Have you decided on a captain for tomorrow and can you tell us?

Not really, though. He’s the captain, Sonny. I don’t really care who wears the armband tomorrow because he is the club captain, followed by Madders and Romero. More importantly, Sonny has demonstrated exceptional leadership in words, deeds, and actions. Tomorrow, players must rise up, regardless of who is wearing the armband. He’s been excellent for us, so we need to try to fill the void he’s left. We’ll need a number of people to step up in that area merely in terms of experience on the day, so I’m not really thinking too much about who it will be.


Pape Matar Sarr – is he OK?

Yeah he’s fine, he’s gone. He with the national team.

No hamstring issues?

No, no he’s fine.

What’s the ideal number of new faces you want to see?

No, it doesn’t work that way. There are a lot of moving parts in a window like this. Like I said, January you don’t expect too much in terms of activity but again I’ve said before is that every opportunity we have to strengthen the team, strengthen the squad, we should try and take. Depending on sort of the opportunities we have to do that this month, we’ll try and do.

Is Sergio Reguilon heading back out on loan because if you play him he can’t go to a third club?

That’ll be dictated by a lot of other factors but not on my radar at the moment.

With Dane Scarlett after that difficult loan, is he someone you have to put an arm around, give him a reset, how does it work with him?

It works that he’s back with us, he trains every day, he’s got an opportunity to show what he can do. That’s the life of a footballer. There’s no point… he went to Ipswich to play, he didn’t for whatever reason. He’s got to take some responsibility for that. It didn’t work out but he’s back here now, training with us and like all the other young players, they are before me every day and can put a compelling case to play.

The team you picked at Fulham, will the reaction to that influence your team selection?

What do you reckon?

Probably not…

Yeah, fair summation. People are allowed to criticise. I don’t always get it right. I put out a team that I thought could win us the game that night. We lost on penalties to a Premier League club away from home that’s doing pretty well there. So, it was early in the season. I know how hard it is to play our football and I didn’t want to expose the whole group to three games in a week that early in the season.

Were you aware of the lengthy run without trophy for Spurs and does it impact a club?

I’ve said before there can’t be a desperation to win a trophy because it cures all ills because it doesn’t. As soon as you win one, what do you think the fans are going to say? ‘It’s OK, you don’t have to win one for another 15 or 16 years?’ No, they’ll want more.

So, it is about putting yourself in a position where you can compete for these things regularly and give yourself every opportunity to win every competition you’re in. It is not just winning a trophy and thinking that is going to be enough. And a football club like this, which is the context for what I’m saying, there would be a demand from not just supporters, but players and everyone involved at the club saying we want more of this.

So, I can’t just sit back and say, ‘hold on, I’ve just delivered a trophy. Shouldn’t I have some latitude to not be successful?’ It doesn’t work that way. I am determined to bring success to the football club but it is not a desperation for something that will give us some respire for what is ahead. When you’re a big football club there should be a constant demand for success.

There an argument that winning a domestic cup is stepping stone but does it always work like that?

No, it doesn’t and there is plenty of evidence to suggest it doesn’t work at all that way unless you can back it up. Again, at a football club like this which should be competing for honours every year, I don’t think winning one trophy should be the holy grail. It should be creating a team and a club that is competing for trophies every year.

How was Bentancur after Sunday?

He was good. Obviously he is feeling the affects of the game, but not anything injury-related, which was good. It felt nice to be outside, and it was a fantastic idea to get him there. He believed he had overcome the difficult part of his recovery the first time, but then he experienced another setback. Like many of the injured boys, they want to help out. I doubt he was interested in going through another protracted recovery program. He was eager to resume his involvement, and I was pleased to offer him the minutes I had available. His talent is immediately apparent; he is an extremely talented football player. Once his physical condition improves, I believe he will make a big contribution to our team.

You’ll lose Son but can you take some solace from the relationship that Richarlison and Brennan Johnson are forming?

Yes, it is progressing. The front third is still our biggest area of improvement, as I believe I’ve mentioned previously. Even if we still think there is a lot more that we can do better, as you mentioned, we see the beginnings of it every week as the boys grow and gain greater awareness.

If you had to name a current team of the year, Sonny would be on it. For us, he has been an incredible player. We’re going to need to really step it up from everyone to make up for the loss of yet another important player for us this season. It’s a big one for us.

A 16-year-old Spurs fan, Harry Pitman, was killed on New Year’s Eve, the club are going to show his image tomorrow in the 16th minute and fans are being encouraged to sing ‘he’s one of our own’, obviously it won’t be much for the family but does it show how football at its best and when it can be more than just about the game?

Indeed, I suppose that’s the case; you really don’t want to consider the family’s situation or the reality that, given the state of our society, incidents like these continue to occur and young lives are lost needlessly.

I was unable to even imagine the suffering and loss the family is going through. I’ve always believed that a football team is more than just the product of our actions. For individuals, sports are an extended family and community. It’s the least that our fans and we can do if it even slightly eases their discomfort.

The fact that individuals and families still have to endure this sorrow is just heartbreaking and unbelievable.

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