Ange Postecoglou says the chance to end Tottenham’s long trophy drought was the biggest attraction when it came to accepting the job.

This week saw the club announce revenue streams (£549.6million) in the 2022-23 financial year had passed half-a-billion pounds for the first time and also marked five years since Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opened.

However, the main draw for Postecoglou to take over at Spurs was not their money-spinning home venue, the state-of-the-art training facility or healthy finances, but the opportunity to bring silverware back to N17.

Any realistic prospect of Tottenham winning a trophy this season ended in January when they exited the FA Cup but their experienced head coach had continued to state they remained in the title race.

Now 13 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with only 24 points still to play for, Postecoglou has accepted it will be a trophyless campaign but is determined to change that next year.

“It’s a fantastic stadium and the facilities at the training ground are fantastic, so you factor that into it, but it wasn’t the reason I came to Tottenham,” Postecoglou said ahead of Sunday’s visit of Nottingham Forest.

“And I get it. It’s the Premier League, I’m earning decent money, it’s high profile, it’s got a great stadium, great facilities.

“(But) it hasn’t won anything for a while. That’s why I came. That’s the biggest attraction.

“If they were playing out of the back of some other stadium, it wouldn’t have made a difference to me.

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“I see a really big club which hasn’t had success for a quite a while and it’s a great challenge for me.

“Progress is not just an endless road, progress has an objective of being successful. When does that happen? I was hoping it would happen this year but it didn’t so the plan is for it to happen next year.

“At the same time you have got to understand that progress is really messy. It’s disheartening and dispiriting and it can really knock your enthusiasm because it’s not linear.

“You are going to cop some blows along the way and I know that is still ahead of us. We have had to manage a few this year so you understand the progress I’m talking about leads to success.

“If it doesn’t, you will be asking questions to a different bloke next time because it won’t be me.

“That’s why I’m here, to bring success to this football club. This year was my objective so next year becomes the objective. And the quicker it happens, the better for me and the football club.”

Postecoglou has repeatedly faced questions about the battle for Champions League qualification in recent weeks, especially since he claimed a top-four finish was not a priority.

It was put to the 58-year-old that playing in Europe’s elite competition could be the difference between signing the best players or not this summer, but the Australian rejected that notion.

He asked: “Why do you want to come to Tottenham? Because if you want Champions League football and that’s all you want, you don’t want to come to Tottenham; you just want to go to a Champions League club.

“I want people to come to Tottenham, who know this club, know the challenge we’ve got and we do have a challenge. We’re different to other clubs in that we haven’t had success for a while — so I’m looking for a certain type of character.”

Ange Postecoglou has acknowledged Tottenham will not be restricted like some clubs when it comes to spending in the summer transfer window.

Spurs announced their 2022-23 financial results on Wednesday, which showed total revenue for the Premier League club had increased to £549.6million, up from £444m for the previous year.

Club chairman Daniel Levy also revealed they were “in discussions with prospective investors” over a minority stake in Tottenham, and while a loss of £86.8m was recorded, this was put down to “significant and continued investment in the playing squad”.

The breaches of Premier League Profit and Sustainability rules by Everton and Nottingham Forest, which resulted in points deductions, contributed towards a quiet January transfer window – with Spurs one of the biggest spenders.

A similarly muted summer transfer window is anticipated, but Tottenham could again buck the trend with a plethora of additions despite overall losses of up to £232m over the past three years, due to an annual depreciation charge of £72m being included owing to the club’s stadium rebuild.

“My discussions around those kinds of issues are not the minutiae of a balance sheet,” Postecoglou explained ahead of Sunday’s visit of Forest.

“It is about us planning to build a side that can potentially be successful. So, that’s what we’re doing and nothing that is going to come out in the balance sheet is going to disrupt those plans because those plans are done in alliance with the people who make the balance sheets.

“It is not like ‘oh, we are going to wait for the financial results before we start thinking about who we’re going to sign’. All this stuff is already in planning.

“We kind of know what position we’re in and what we need to do in the summer. That doesn’t mean it’s all going to come to fruition of course, because there are all sorts of other factors that come into it.

“Our planning is well under way in what we need to do. But there’s no doubt that from our perspective, we are not one of the clubs who are going to be as restricted as others.

“From my perspective, I’ve had a clear line of communication about where we are as a football club and nothing I’ve taken on has surprised me in any way. We’re in a good position and hopefully we can build on that.”

It was put to Postecoglou that Champions League qualification would be beneficial from a financial standpoint, but the Australian doubled down on his assertation that a top-four finish is not his aim for this season – it is instead to see clear signs of progress in terms of their playing style.

He added: “We’re not banks, we’re football clubs. We’re not financial institutions. I don’t get measured by the balance sheet at the end of the year.

“What I’m saying is, Champions League, great. Money, great. Does that mean we’re going to finish third next year? No, in fact it is probably going to be more challenging.

“So my role in that is not to worry about the financial pressure of making Champions League.

“It is to create a squad that hopefully can compete in the Champions League and keep improving in the Premier League and have success in the cup competitions. That’s where I differentiate.”

Tottenham are “in discussions with prospective investors” in a bid to “capitalise on our long-term potential”, chairman Daniel Levy has revealed.

The Premier League club’s total revenue for the financial year to June 30, 2023 exceeded half a billion pounds for the first time, with the figure of £549.6million a significant increase on £444m for the previous year.

However, operating expenses including first-team costs have risen by 21 per cent to £487.9m, with a loss of £86.8m put down to “significant and continued investment in the playing squad” in the financial results published by the club on Wednesday morning.

Levy announced in his statement accompanying the results that Spurs were looking for an injection of equity.

He wrote: “To capitalise on our long-term potential, to continue to invest in the teams and undertake future capital projects, the club requires a significant increase in its equity base.

“The board and its advisors, Rothschild & Co, are in discussions with prospective investors. Any recommended investment proposal would require the support of the club’s shareholders.”

Ange Postecoglou felt Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at West Ham was a step in the right direction despite dropping more points in the top-four race.

Brennan Johnson’s early strike was cancelled out by a goal from Kurt Zouma as a frantic London derby ended all square.

“I thought for the most part we controlled the game pretty well,” said the Spurs boss.

“They are a big strong team. They sit deep and make it difficult for you. You have to be fairly calm in your approach but also really disciplined because they are a threat from the counter-attack.

“We conceded from a set-piece but the rest of the set-pieces we coped with really well. In the front third we lacked a bit of clarity of thought.

“But they are human beings, it is just football. I would love to have a joystick and put them where I want them, but it doesn’t work like that.

“Sometimes we have more time than we think. There were times when the ball was flashed across the box when we should have been in those areas.

“It is all part of the development. That is why we have coaches, why we develop a system. We are not the finished article and we know that.

“There was enough there tonight for me to say that it is a team still heading in the right direction.”

West Ham should have gone ahead inside four minutes when Mohammed Kudus rolled the ball across goal, but Jarrod Bowen put a simple chance wide.

Just over a minute later they were behind when Tottenham put a carbon copy chance away, Timo Werner crossing for Johnson to sweep home.

The Hammers equalised in bizarre fashion in the 19th minute when Bowen swung in a corner.

With Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario rooted to his line, the unmarked Zouma went up for a header and glanced the ball into the net off his back.

Michail Antonio spurned a glorious chance to put West Ham ahead after half-time when he held off Micky van de Ven to go one on one with Vicario, only to fluff his finish.

Destiny Udogie could have won it for Spurs in stoppage time but drilled his shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski.

“It was probably fair in the end, we did a lot of good things and showed much more resilience in defence tonight,” said Hammers boss David Moyes.

“We looked a threat and had to do a good job to stop a very good Tottenham team.”

Moyes, whose side won 2-1 at Tottenham in December, added: “Overall, if you’re giving me four points off Spurs before the season started, I’d have shaken your hand, walked away and said ‘thanks very much’.”

Tottenham lost more ground in the battle for a top-four finish after they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Ange Postecoglou’s side could have leapfrogged fourth-placed Aston Villa with a win and made the perfect start when Brennan Johnson tapped home early on for his fifth goal of the season.

West Ham, who let a 3-1 lead slip to lose 4-3 at Newcastle last weekend, were able to respond in the 19th minute when Kurt Zouma scored from Jarrod Bowen’s corner and they could have claimed all three points.

While Spurs dominated possession throughout in east London, David Moyes watched Michail Antonio race through on the hour mark but fire straight at Guglielmo Vicario as the capital rivals could not be separated.

A light show followed by a firework display greeted the players onto a soaked London Stadium pitch and Moyes should have seen his team start with a bang.

Only four minutes were on the clock when Mohammed Kudus crossed in for Bowen, but the Hammers’ leading marksman fluffed his lines from a matter of yards.

It would prove costly as Spurs went ahead with their first attack of the match. A neat move ended with Timo Werner bursting past Vladimir Coufal before he squared for the recalled Johnson to tap home in the fifth minute.

It continued Johnson’s purple patch, after his brace of assists against Luton, but also ended a run of six first halves without a goal for Tottenham.

The visitors went close again when a Pedro Porro effort whistled past the post before Son Heung-min curled straight at Lukasz Fabianski, in for the injured Alphonse Areola.

West Ham remained a threat at set-pieces though, after Kudus had an early shot deflected over, and levelled after 19 minutes.

Bowen’s inswinging corner was diverted beyond Vicario by the back of home captain Zouma, who was inexplicably unmarked in the six-yard area.

It got the West Ham fans up on their feet and they almost had another goal to celebrate eight minutes before half-time, but James Ward-Prowse’s 25-yard free-kick was parried away by Vicario.

Spurs had responded well to the hosts’ equaliser. However, they had to survive a set-piece barrage to ensure they came in level at the break.

A sloppy pass by Rodrigo Bentancur gifted West Ham a chance at the start of the second half, but Vicario saved Antonio’s shot before the Italian made an even better stop to keep out Konstantinos Mavropanos’ header.

Antonio’s blushes were spared after he air-kicked the loose ball when the offside flag was raised.

Lucas Paqueta was next to go close for the home side when he spun away from Bentancur and curled wide from 20 yards.

Tottenham did regroup but should have gone 2-1 down on the hour mark.

Maddison wanted a free-kick after he tangled with Paqueta. Referee John Brooks waved play on and Ward-Prowse played through to Antonio, who benefited from a slip by Micky van de Ven but fired straight at Vicario.

It was a gilt-edged chance and Postecoglou reacted by bringing on Pape Sarr and Dejan Kulusevski, which gave the visitors a second wind.

Werner had an effort deflected over before both teams threatened to produce stoppage-time breakaway goals, but Destiny Udogie fired straight at Fabianski and Bowen lobbed off target as the points were shared.

Ange Postecoglou expects Tottenham to be in the Premier League title race in 12 months’ time.

Spurs had hit the league summit in November, before a spate of injuries sparked an inconsistent winter period.

The north London club are now 11 points off leaders Liverpool and battling for Champions League qualification with Aston Villa.

Postecoglou has repeatedly insisted a top-four finish is not the priority this season. He is instead more focused on the development and improvement of his young squad.

Asked whether he expects Spurs to be challenging for the title next term, Postecoglou replied: “I hope so. Or why am I doing what I’m doing? That’s why I came to the club.

“As somebody said to me last week, ‘Just do your job Ange’ and my job is to come here and try to bring success.

“And if you don’t think you’re going to be in the title race in 12 months’ time, then I don’t know why I’m here.”

The former Celtic boss also doubled down on his Champions League qualification claims.

He once more pointed to the examples of Manchester United and Newcastle, who were third and fourth respectively last season, as teams that did not kick on after finishing in the top four.

“It’d probably make my life easier if I said, ‘Let’s make Champions League, that’s great’ because everyone thinks I’ve done a great job,” Postecoglou said, speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s game at West Ham.

“But from my perspective, I keep saying it, I look at the teams who made the Champions League this year from last year and that wasn’t the catalyst for them kicking on.

“It’s not their fault – it’s more demanding. But I’m not going to let this club rest on where we finish this year. Where we finish should be a foundation for us being better next year.”

Last weekend marked Spurs’ first home match since the club announced planned ticketing changes which will result in senior concession season tickets no longer being available from the 2025-26 season.

A group called ‘Save Our Seniors’ was formed last month as a result, and staged a protest where fans turned their backs on the action during the 65th minute of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Luton.

“I think my constant position on this is that the fans have a voice,” Postecoglou said.

“And they should be able to use that voice in any manner they find appropriate, as long as it’s not disruptive, as long as it’s not to the detriment of the club in an overall way.

“At the beginning at (my time at) Celtic, there was fan protests there. They have a voice and we’ve seen in the past when fans feel strongly about something.”

Ange Postecoglou has talked up Brennan Johnson’s growing influence and is impressed with how he has handled his debut season at Tottenham.

Johnson joined Spurs on transfer deadline day in September for a £47.5million fee from Nottingham Forest and initially struggled to make his mark, with only one goal during the first half of the campaign.

The Wales attacker has flourished since December though, scoring in comeback wins over Brentford and Brighton and also making key contributions off the bench against Crystal Palace and Luton in recent weeks.

Ahead of Tuesday’s trip to West Ham, Postecoglou said: “Brennan was super on the weekend.

“He’s still young, he’s developing. He’s moved to a big club where there’s big expectations when you have a big transfer fee, but for the most part I think he’s handled it really well.

“He started the two games before he came off the bench, he did really well against Villa. He wasn’t great against Fulham but most of the team wasn’t great against Fulham. (Against Luton) he came again off the bench and made an impact.

“He’s another one understanding more and more how we want to play and he’s adjusting to it. Like I said, for the most part he’s handled himself really well this year.

“It was always going to be a tough introduction for a young player, moving to a big club for a transfer fee, and it’s always harder for attacking players because they are usually measured on goals and assists but I think he’s contributing in more than just that.”

Johnson could start Tuesday’s London derby and may line up alongside Timo Werner, who played a part in both goals during the 2-1 win over Luton.

Spurs have the option to turn the six-month loan of the RB Leipzig attacker into a permanent deal, but Postecoglou was eager to focus on the development of the ex-Chelsea forward.

“In terms of his future, I think like most players all these decisions will be made at the appropriate time,” Postecoglou said.

“He’s been great for us. He was an important signing. I said at the time, people forget that when we signed him Sonny (Son Heung-min) wasn’t here, he was away at the Asian Cup, and then Richy (Richarlison) got injured so we would have had a massive hole in our line-up without Timo there.

“And it’s fair to say he’s made an impact in every game. Yeah, he’d probably like a couple more goals but at the same time he’s an important part of our structure.

“I thought he was really good on the weekend. He has been in the last few games but I do think there’s more improvement in him as he understands our game more.”

Spurs remain without Fraser Forster (foot), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) and Manor Solomon (knee), but Micky van de Ven could start in defence after he was an unused substitute against Luton upon his return from a muscle injury.

Ange Postecoglou has brushed off concerns over Tottenham's lack of first-half goals.

Spurs produced another late show to down Luton on Saturday, with captain Son Heung-min scoring an 86th-minute winner in a crucial 2-1 victory.

It has been a familiar tale for Tottenham, who have now fired a blank in six consecutive first halves but produced another rally after the break to claim a vital win like in recent results against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Brighton.

Postecoglou’s side have not scored in the first half at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2024 – a run of seven matches since Pape Matar Sarr’s ninth-minute goal against Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve – but the 58-year-old is unfazed by the statistic.

“The disappointing thing about the first half is the goal we conceded,” Postecoglou insisted.

“Our football was good. We created good chances, one-vs-ones, we hit the post, they blocked quite a few shots and they defended desperately.

“I think overall there was nothing wrong with our football. The goal we conceded, that was poor and that’s something we need to address.

“With a lot of our football, it becomes a war of attrition. We need to put pressure on the opposition because we know we’re going to run our games really strongly.

“I thought we made Luton work really hard in the first half and I thought you saw in the last 10 to 15 minutes that they paid the price for that.

“Obviously if we got an early goal it would have opened them up and made the game easier for us, but winning the way we did isn’t a bad thing either.”

Luton claimed a shock third-minute lead when Tahith Chong fired home from a Ross Barkley cross after a slick break.

Tottenham should have levelled before half-time but Timo Werner scuffed wide, while Son hit both posts after he rounded Thomas Kaminski.

Postecoglou still introduced Brennan Johnson at the break, which had the desired impact with the Wales international able to create the equaliser with a superb cross that Issa Kabore put through his own net.

Johnson then laid off for Son’s winner to help keep Spurs within touching distance of fourth-placed Aston Villa.

“I thought the lads handled it really well in the second half,” Postecoglou said.

“There was a bit of anxiety around the place. Every game now for every club there will be because there’s extra significance, but I thought the lads stayed really calm during that process, kept playing our football and probing and eventually got their rewards.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards cut a downbeat figure at full-time but tried to draw on the positives for his injury-hit team.

Edwards added: “I have to give all of us some credit because we’ve pushed them all the way. It’s hard because I know we haven’t won much this year but we’re winners and we want to win.

“It hurts. I am normally better once I’ve watched the game back and we have to focus on Arsenal (now). Seven weeks, it’s all done and I’ll try get some sleep then when hopefully we can be in the league still.”

Ange Postecoglou hailed the high standards of “tired” Tottenham captain Son Heung-min after his late goal earned a 2-1 home win over Luton.

Spurs were able to get their Champions League qualification hopes back on track with a comeback victory against Luton after the visitors took a third-minute lead through Tahith Chong.

Tottenham captain Son hit both posts during the first half before Brennan Johnson, a half-time introduction, created the leveller when his dangerous cross was smashed into his own net by Hatters defender Issa Kabore.

Johnson turned provider again in the 86th minute from Timo Werner’s cross when he teed up Son, who slotted home via a deflection off Daiki Hashioka to earn the hosts a vital three points.

It was Son’s 15th goal of the season but more crucially moved him above 1961 double-winner Cliff Jones into outright fifth in Tottenham’s all-time scoring list on 160 goals, a matter of days after he travelled halfway across the world to feature in South Korea’s World Cup qualifiers with Thailand.

Postecoglou said: “I am sure he feels tired. Yeah, absolutely. It’s tough. When I was national team coach of Australia, we had quite a few players playing this side of the world.

“They’re long trips, there is time difference but like I said before he never looks for those clutches, Sonny.

“For him when he is available, he wants to play to the highest possible level and he keeps doing it.

“Playing for his national team is hugely important to him. Playing for this football club is hugely important to him and he wouldn’t compromise either by letting his standards drop.

“Irrespective of opposition or whatever game it is, he has this really high level of expectation on himself to be the best he can be all the time. It’s very hard to be like that.

“But he wants to maintain the highest possible standards whenever he plays and you see that with his football, his efforts, his leadership now so it’s all encompassing.

“Look, he’s been a brilliant footballer for this club for a long time and hopefully for many years to come.”

Spurs had suffered a 3-0 humbling at Fulham ahead of the international break but the prospect of a fast start in north London evaporated when Luton took the lead after three minutes.

Andros Townsend burst down the right and crossed in for Ross Barkley, who teed up Chong for his fifth goal of the season.

Tottenham went close to equalising when Son rounded Thomas Kaminski in the 20th minute, but his low effort hit both posts before Pape Sarr’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Teden Mengi.

Postecoglou sent on Wales international Johnson and he made the difference with 51 minutes played with a superb cross to force Kabore’s own-goal before Spurs hit Luton with a slick counter-attack.

Werner broke from the visitors’ corner and found Johnson, who set up Son to inflict more late woe on Luton.

Rob Edwards’ side dropped back into the bottom three after Nottingham Forest claimed a point at home to Crystal Palace.

“Yeah, I feel sick right now,” Edwards admitted.

“Let’s have it right, Tottenham are a brilliant team, fantastic manager and really good players but to lose so late from our own attacking set-piece is difficult to take.

“For us to be pushing and to concede the way we did is difficult.”

Son Heung-min’s 86th-minute winner helped Tottenham get their Champions League qualification hopes back on track with a 2-1 home victory over Luton.

Luton made the perfect start in north London when Tahith Chong rifled them ahead after three minutes and Rob Edwards’ side threatened to come away with a rare win when Spurs went another first half without a goal.

While Tottenham have now failed to score during the first 45 of seven home games in a row, Ange Postecoglou’s team produced another second-half rally thanks to substitute Brennan Johnson.

Johnson set up Issa Kabore’s 51st-minute own goal and teed up Son four minutes from time to help the hosts bounce back from their Fulham humbling two weeks ago with a much-needed victory.

Luton arrived in the capital buoyed by the fact they moved out of the relegation zone during the international break following Nottingham Forest’s points deduction and they started with a bang.

Only three minutes were on the clock when the visitors broke at pace down the right and after Andros Townsend burst past Yves Bissouma too easily he recycled the ball to Ross Barkley, who teed up Chong for the opener.

Chong’s low finish in off the post was his fifth goal of the season and represented more frustration for Spurs but they should have levelled after 15 minutes.

Dejan Kulusevski’s excellent crossfield pass released Timo Werner, who turned Kabore inside out before he scuffed wide with only Thomas Kaminski to beat.

Five minutes later and Tottenham went close again with captain Son remarkably hitting both posts.

Kulusevski played in Son, who rounded Kaminski but saw his shot hit both uprights after it rolled across the goalline before Pape Sarr’s follow-up strike was cleared off the line by Teden Mengi.

The Hatters were able to impressively regroup and finished the half strongly with Alfie Doughty’s goalbound volley blocked by Pedro Porro.

Boos greeted the half-time whistle and Postecoglou reacted with Johnson introduced for Kulusevski, which had the desired impact.

Not long after Guglielmo Vicario had denied Ross Barkley’s long-range effort, Spurs attacked down the right and Johnson followed up a one-two with Porro with a superb delivery to the back post that Kabore fired into his own net.

Tottenham were in the mood now with Son denied by Kaminski before the Luton goalkeeper clawed away Porro’s deflected cross.

Edwards’ side remained a threat from set-pieces and Vicario had to be alert to thwart a low effort by substitute Jordan Clark before the hosts made a double change with Rodrigo Bentancur and Giovani Lo Celso introduced.

It nearly paid dividends immediately with Werner able to find Lo Celso, who picked out Johnson but his close-range effort was blocked by Kaminski and Doughty cleared with the ball a matter of millimetres away from crossing the goalline.

Spurs would not be denied though and Son grabbed the winner with four minutes left.

A slick counter-attack from Luton’s corner saw Werner race down the left and his cross found Johnson, who teed up Son to score via a deflection for his 15th goal of the season.

Ange Postecoglou has labelled Tottenham’s post-season friendly in Melbourne as a “unique opportunity” but admitted it is unlikely to become a regular occurrence.

Spurs announced earlier this month they would visit Australia after the Premier League season concludes to take on Premier League rivals Newcastle in an exhibition fixture.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground clash on May 22 has been roundly criticised due to player welfare concerns and for a lack of regard for the environment, a matter of weeks after Green Football Weekend.

 

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Postecoglou defended the merits of the post-season friendly, which will see the 58-year-old return to his home city.

“We leave straight after the last game (at Sheffield United) and we’ll be taking everyone who’s fit,” Postecoglou revealed.

“We thought that with our season being so disrupted and not a lot of games, this was a unique opportunity for us.

“I wouldn’t see this as something that would happen on a regular basis unless we felt the benefits would outweigh the costs.

“On this occasion when we balanced everything up, we felt it was a good opportunity to take the club to the other side of the world and help us continue to grow the football club.”

England boss Gareth Southgate was recently asked about the friendly, which will involve Euro 2024 hopefuls Kieran Trippier, Anthony Gordon and James Maddison, and predicted post-season fixtures will happen more often.

Southgate expressed his hope that none of his players would suffer injuries.

But Postecoglou insisted: “I’m sure Gareth will be a club coach one day and he’ll get a different perspective, as he has been in the past.

“I don’t think Gareth has said anything, or any other national team manager.

“I was a national team manager. I used to sweat over it at the weekend when the players were playing whether that was a normal game, a friendly game, whatever game it is.

“The flip side of that is there were quite a few club coaches on edge with national team duty this week so it’s the world we live in.

“There has to be a balance. We’ve thought it through as a football club and it’s fair to say if we’d been in Europe and had a really big season, we probably would have made a different decision.

“We weighed everything up and felt like there was a real benefit to playing this game.”

Before the trip Down Under, Spurs will aim to get their Champions League qualification hopes back on track at home to Luton on Saturday.

Tottenham are boosted by the return of Micky van de Ven after a recent muscle injury, while Richarlison is fit despite a knee issue preventing him from getting minutes for Brazil this month.

Richarlison has made headlines after opening up about his mental health struggles during an interview with ESPN Brasil this week.

The Brazil forward, who back in September expressed his intention to seek “psychological help”, revealed he was in a state of depression after the 2022 World Cup and “wanted to give up”.

Postecoglou knows Richarlison is not alone in feeling that way as a footballer, adding: “It’s not that uncommon. It’s not, not in my experience.

“They’re human beings, but for the most part it’s always dealt behind closed doors.

“I guess it’s striking because players or managers or people involved in football haven’t come out publicly before.

“But I can assure you…there are problems that players and people involved in our industry deal with. The amount of money you have in the bank balance or your fame doesn’t shield you from that.

“It’s a credit to him. He could have dealt with this privately obviously but I think the public aspect of it, it’s a brave decision for him.

“More importantly it’s hopefully a great conduit for others to reach out and seek help when it’s required.”

Marco Silva believes the pressure on Rodrigo Muniz’s shoulders is a “privilege” after the Fulham striker extended his scoring form against Tottenham.

The Brazilian has starred for the west Londoners in recent weeks, scoring seven goals in his last seven appearances in the Premier League, including an impressive brace in the 3-0 win over Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs earlier this month.

Muniz’s rise to become the Cottagers’ main striker comes after he struggled for minutes at the start of the season, being out of favour and sitting behind Raul Jimenez and Carlos Vinicius in the pecking order up front.

Speaking ahead of Fulham’s clash with Sheffield United on Saturday, head coach Silva said: “The pressure is a privilege for Rodrigo’s situation.

“He is in a much better position now than he was three months ago. Why should he feel so much pressure now? Three months ago he was on the bench and fighting to have a chance to score.

“He’s playing so well, he’s improving and working hard and scoring goals so why should he feel so much pressure now?

“The defenders are more aware of him and it’s fantastic for a striker when you feel the people around you trust that you can solve the problems for us and that you can be a decisive player.

“I see it as a privilege rather than something which is not good.”

Chris Wilder’s Blades sit bottom of the table and are looking for just a fourth league win of the season after a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth last time out snapped a three-match losing run.

Silva warned that his players cannot afford to be complacent and expects their hosts to bring the fight at Bramall Lane.

“If we go into the game complacent then we are going to have problems, we will be surprised,” Silva added.

“We have to have the same ambition, focus and desire which we played the last few games with.

“They will fight really hard to get the points and they are not in a position they wanted, bottom of the table is tough and every game where you don’t get points you are getting more in trouble.

“They have shown the capacity to react and their last game was an example.”

Fulham’s form of four wins in seven has seen them close the gap on teams in contention for European places and Silva insists motivation is high among his players to finish the season well.

“We are full of motivation,” he said. “The motivation was really high against Tottenham and we felt that at Craven Cottage.

“It is about motivation, desire, the will to go every time and the commitment. We always have to be on top and it will always be the same for us. Every time we go into a match we have to do our maximum.”

Brazil and Tottenham forward Richarlison said he was in a “depression” after the 2022 World Cup.

The 26-year-old was his country’s top scorer in Qatar, with three goals in four games as they went out in the last 16, but he struggled mentally after the tournament.

He has admitted he saw a psychologist, who “saved my life”.

“I’d just played in a World Cup, man, at my peak,” Richarlison told ESPN Brasil. “I was reaching my limit, you know? I don’t know, I’m not going to talk about killing myself, but I was in a depression there, and I wanted to give up.

 

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“Even I, who seemed to be mentally strong. After the World Cup it seemed like it all fell apart.

“I think the therapist, like it or not, saved me, saved my life. I only thought rubbish. Even on Google, I only searched for rubbish, I only wanted to see rubbish about death.

“Before I went to training, I wanted to go home, I wanted to go back to my room because, I don’t know what was going through my head. I even went and told my dad I was going to give up.

“It’s kind of sad to talk like that, you know? What I went through after the World Cup, discovering things here at home from people who had lived with me for over seven years. It is crazy.

“To go to my father, who was the guy who chased my dream with me, and say, ‘Dad, I want to give up,’ is crazy.”

Richarlison, who has scored 11 goals in 26 games for Spurs this season, was sceptical of seeking therapy prior to his episode, but now recommends it to anyone struggling.

“Today I can say, look for a psychologist, if you need a psychologist, look for one because it’s nice for you to open up like that, for you to be talking to the person,” he said.

“Today a (psychologist) came to thank me for taking this to the world of football, to the world, outside the pitch too, because it is very important and, whether we like it or not, it saves lives.

“I had this prejudice before, I thought it was nonsense, I thought I was crazy. In my family, there are people who think that anyone who goes to a psychologist thinks they are crazy, they think they are insane.

“But I discovered this and thought it was wonderful. The best thing, really the best discovery I’ve ever had in my life.”

Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane will make a return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face his former club in August.

A friendly game between the German giants and Tottenham will take place as part of the Visit Malta Cup on Saturday, August 10.

The match marks a return to north London for Spurs’ all-time leading goal-scorer, who joined Bayern for £100million last summer.

Team-mate Eric Dier will also face his former club after the defender left for Bayern in January.

A statement on the Tottenham website read: “This mouth-watering curtain-raiser to the new season takes on extra significance, with the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, Harry Kane and long-serving defender Eric Dier having recently joined the Bundesliga champions.

“This will be a 12th meeting with Bayern in our history and only the fourth to have taken place on home soil.

“We memorably overcame the German giants on our way to UEFA Cup success 40 years ago.”

England captain Kane has been impressive in Germany this season, scoring 37 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions.

He leads the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with 31 so far for Bayern, who currently sit second, 10 points off league leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the table.

Last time Bayern and Tottenham met was in the 2019/20 Champions League group stage and Spurs were beaten 7-2 at home before Bayern won 3-1 in the reverse fixture.

What the papers say

Arsenal and Chelsea are set to battle it out for 20-year-old Sporting defender Ousmane Diomande. According to The Sun, Arsenal have matched their London rival’s £51million plus bonuses offer to lure the Ivory Coast international from Lisbon.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is attracting interest from Bayern Munich among other clubs for his work at the Seagulls. But the Daily Mirror reports the Italian coach is in no rush to decide on his future.

Everton’s England Under-17s goalkeeper Douglas Lukjanciks is attracting attention across Europe. The Daily Mail reports Bayer Leverkusen are among the clubs interested in the 16-year-old.

Promising Nigerian striker Hafiz Umar Ibrahim is set for a trial at Chelsea, thanks to a little help. Raheem Sterling played a key role in linking the 18-year-old with Stamford Bridge, according to the Evening Standard.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Timo Werner: Tottenham are keen on making the 28-year-old RB Leipzig and Germany forward’s loan deal permanent, but are in no rush to trigger a £14.5million option to buy, according to Four Four Two.

Federico Chiesa: Liverpool and Manchester United want to sign the Italy forward, 26, from Juventus, reports Teamtalk,

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