Ange Postecoglou, the Tottenham Hotspur head coach, commended his team’s “massive physical effort” after securing a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve. Speaking in his post-match press conference, Postecoglou expressed his satisfaction with the character displayed by his side, especially after their 4-2 defeat to Brighton just a few days prior. With this win, Spurs closed the gap to three points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Postecoglou acknowledged the various elements that contributed to their success, stating, “There was a bit of everything today, and we needed a bit of everything. Some of our football was good; we had to show some resilience and character, again a massive physical effort.” He also emphasized that the players had given their all, dispelling any notion that their recent setbacks were due to a lack of effort. Despite facing a team in top form, with less rest following a physically demanding match against Brighton, the players continued to give their maximum effort, which Postecoglou commended.
The return of Rodrigo Bentancur ahead of schedule from an ankle injury provided a boost for Spurs. However, there were also setbacks as first goalscorer Pape Matar Sarr and Alejo Veliz were both forced off the pitch due to injuries. Sarr, who had to withdraw just past the half-hour mark with a hamstring injury, was visibly upset as he had hoped to participate in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. Postecoglou expressed his disappointment for Sarr and hoped that the injury was not too serious, allowing him to still contribute to his national team.
Alejo Veliz also suffered from pain and, with all substitutions already made, the team tried to communicate to him to lay down so they could safely remove him from the field. Despite the circumstances, Veliz’s determination to continue playing showcased his character. Postecoglou praised the young player for his resilience and stated that the extent of his injury would be assessed.
On a more positive note, Giovani Lo Celso’s performance was highlighted by Postecoglou. The midfielder started the match after an impressive display off the bench against Brighton. Postecoglou praised Lo Celso’s contributions, particularly his exceptional passes, including the one that led to Son Heung-min’s goal. With Son, Sarr, and Yves Bissouma set to be absent due to international duty, Postecoglou emphasized the importance of Lo Celso’s role in the team moving forward.