Ange Postecoglou confident Tottenham back him to make 'drastic change' in wide-scale rebuild

Ange Postecoglou confident Tottenham back him to make 'drastic change' in wide-scale rebuild

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou believes he has the club's full support to implement the "drastic change" needed to the playing squad and staff to turn his side into a top team.

In a defiant press briefing sandwiched between Thursday night's 2-0 defeat to Chelsea and the visit to Liverpool on Sunday, Postecoglou said the club had "brought into my vision" but suggested that the squad could eventually be "unrecognisable" from the one he inherited.

The Australian's approach has come in for fresh scrutiny following the derby defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea this week, but he added that he has "absolutely no" doubts about his style of play and said he "loves" the challenge of a difficult rebuild.

Before the visit to Stamford Bridge, Postecoglou acknowledged that "a majority" of his players and staff still did not have "true belief" in his approach and he says he is preparing to wield the axe in the summer.

"We need change. Change has to happen," Postecoglou said.

"You can’t want to alter your course and expect the same people are going to be on that. It’s just not going to happen.

"We’ve had two windows and we’ve had some development of players, for sure, but when I say we’ve still got a long way to go, that’s what I’m talking about.

"It’s impossible to say you’re going to have drastic change and yet expect everyone to be on that journey.

"It’s not for the want of trying. It’s just that we’re going to play a certain way, we’re going to train a certain way and we’re going to have a certain mindset.

"And that’s not for everyone.

"Whether it’s Liverpool or Arsenal, if you look at the beginning of their journeys, by the time they win the competition or have success, the team’s almost unrecognisable.

"That’s the reality if you change [and we’ve] done a major pivot here, so that definitely is the case [for us], yeah."

A number of senior players have already left the club since Postecoglou's appointment last summer, with Harry Kane joining Bayern Munich on the eve of the season former captain Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier frozen out before making January moves.

Postecoglou says there are more "tough decisions" to come, and suggested there could also be a turnover in his staff as well as players.

“We’ve already made tough decisions, we let some experienced players leave the club at the beginning of the year, some by choice," he continued.

"But again, I feel like if we’re really going to change, that means change. You have to make decisions.

"Some of those decisions aren’t that tough because whether it’s a player or a staff member, they realise it themselves and say, ‘You know what, I’ve got a better path somewhere else and you’ve got a better path here’.

Postecoglou has come under scrutiny at Tottenham of late (AP)
Postecoglou has come under scrutiny at Tottenham of late (AP)

"But some of them you have to make just because of change, not necessarily because they don't fit in the picture but you still have to change. I’ve got to change this squad, I have to.

"Because I’ve got to build a squad I think can play our football.

"For that to happen, there has to be exits. I can't just keep everyone here and keep bringing in players. So sometimes you let people go who you think ‘he’s a good player’ but how am I going to change if I don’t do that."

Many of Postecoglou's Spurs predecessors, including Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, have wanted to overhaul their squads but ended up being frustrated by what they percieved as a lack of backing from the club.

Asked if he was confident of being fully supported to transform the squad, Postecoglou said: "All I can say is that at the moment I feel like the club has bought into my vision and it’s up to me.

"I’m not going to do it on my own, that’s for sure. I never have, wherever I’ve been, I’ve had great support and right now I have all the support I need. I really feel like the club has bought into the vision I have and it’s up to me to maintain that."

Consecutive defeats to Newcastle, Arsenal and Chelsea have led to fresh scrutiny of Postecoglou's football, which had never been tested in one of Europe's top leagues before he joined Spurs.

The former Celtic and Yokohama F. Marino manager understands the doubts, but insists his own faith has never wavered and he says he loves the challenge of a difficult rebuild.

"What do you reckon they said when I got to Japan? What do you reckon they said when I got to Scotland?" he said.

“I get [the scepticism]. I understand that. It’s legitimate until success comes and then it doesn’t become legitimate.

“My role is to navigate us to where I think we’ll be successful. It’s not new to me. It’s not something I haven’t been asked before.

“I’ve navigated it exactly the same way.

“But that doesn’t mean those questions shouldn’t be there because until you achieve something, obviously people are going to try and figure out if my ideas are going to work here.

“That’s understandable. Until you have success, of course those questions are going to remain.

“But do I have any doubts? Absolutely none. I have clarity in terms of building us a club which will become successful.

“I believe what I believe, down to my core. I’ll stand on the highest ground, die a noble death, believing in what I believe.

"Put it this way I haven't had anything that's come along my path that has shown me that I need to change.

"So like anything in life, once you feel like something is working for you, something you believe in, brings success -- and it does -- you take that forward.

"Maybe the Premier League is a step too far, mate. Who knows? Maybe, maybe. But I will still be on that hill, wounded, my dying breath 'saying 'I believe, I do believe'.

"But I do, I really do mate. And as long as I'm here that's what you will see. You will see this team playing the way I want it to.

“When things are running smoothly, it’s almost like what the hell am I doing here? You want the challenge. That’s where we all get tested.

“I love that aspect of it and I’ve had it in every job I’ve had.

"Imagine the scrutiny and the pressure we’ll be under when we’re on the cusp of success at this club.

“Can you imagine the questioning that will come around then about the history of this club and how it falls at the final hurdle?

“You’ve got to embrace that. That’s always going to be there. Nothing’s going to run smoothly.

“I do, I love this challenge because this is why I do what I do. It’s up to me."