Soccer-Man City game was my worst experience in football, says Postecoglou

  • Football
  • Saturday, 18 May 2024

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - May 14, 2024 Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou said he suffered cold sweats before Tuesday's 2-0 defeat by Manchester City for fear of having his integrity questioned.

The build-up to the game was dominated by talk of Tottenham fans wanting their team to lose in order to put a huge dent in arch-rivals Arsenal's Premier League title hopes.

Had Tottenham avoided defeat, Arsenal would have needed just a win on Sunday against Everton to win the title but now City will clinch it if they beat West Ham United.

Postecoglou was emotional after the game and caused a stir when he appeared to criticise the home fans and suggested he was "out of step" with their feelings about Arsenal.

He also spoke of the club's fragile foundations.

After a few days to let the dust settle, Postecoglou was asked again about Tuesday's match ahead of Tottenham's final game of the season at relegated Sheffield United when a draw will ensure they end the campaign in fifth place.

"I will try to explain it this way, that is probably the worst experience I've had as a football manager in a game because once I realised that I got it wrong in terms of what the atmosphere was going to be like and what people felt," the Australian told reporters.

"I got a real anxiety within me of what happens if Man City, who are the best team in the world and who were disposing teams quite easily in the lead up and scored 15/16 goals in the last four games, what if we play as well as we can but they beat us 5-0?

"I got in cold sweats thinking about people questioning my integrity and the people I work with."

Postecoglou said he watched the game back in the days after the defeat, Tottenham's fifth in six game.

"Even watching the game back, there was a comment somebody mentioned to me in commentary saying 'Tottenham are having a real go here.' You are laughing about it, but that is 26 years of my life," he said. "If nothing else people should know about me, I love this game. I'm very principled.

"I would hate to think, as Manchester City could have done to us, we are on the end of a heavy defeat and people would be questioning whether I prepared the team. We know on social media that would have happened. 100 per cent.

"And I would be up here trying to defend myself. That's why I was animated on the night. I don't think anyone will say that we didn't make Man City earn that win the other night."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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