Ange Postecoglou: ‘We lacked a little clarity in our decision-making’ in West Ham stalemate

A frustrating draw against West Ham on Tuesday night saw Tottenham Hotspur fail to capitalise on an opportunity to return to the top four of the Premier League – but speaking post-match, Lilywhites boss Ange Postecoglou accepted that a draw was a fair result, ‘to a certain extent.’

‘I thought for the most part, we controlled the game pretty well,’ he explained. ‘[London Stadium is] a tough place to come and they’re a big strong team, they sit deep and make it difficult for you. You know you’re going to have to be fairly calm in your approach, and also really disciplined because they’re always a threat on the counter attack. I thought for the most part we handled that really well.’ 

‘I thought we coped with their counter attacks fairly well,’ continued the Australian. ‘Just probably for us in their final third, we lacked a little clarity in thought, [and] in our decision-making. We got in some good areas and probably could have got some much better outcomes. I thought our general play was really good and I was really happy with it.’

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‘I would love to have a joystick and put them where I want them, but it does not work like that. Our role [as coaches] is to try and help them through that. It is not easy, again when you’re facing a team like West Ham, physically they are a big side and they sit deep so it feels constricting anyway.’

Postecoglou brushed off any suggestions that James Maddison is nursing a knock, instead taking the chance to insist that the 27-year-old ‘was really good, especially when he got into their final third.’

Speaking on the performance as a whole, he offered: ‘I thought tonight in a really difficult game against a difficult opponent, we showed some real maturity in the way we played our football, but we’re not the finished product. We know that and we’ll keep working on it.’

‘I thought there was a better structural maturity in our game tonight than against Fulham, so for me that’s progress. Obviously you want to win games of football, that’s the ultimate measure but there was enough there tonight for me to say [that Tottenham are] a team still heading in the right direction.’