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  • Ange Postecoglou Says Tottenham Must Focus On Trophies Not Rivals For Success

Ange Postecoglou says Tottenham must focus on trophies not rivals for success

Ange Postecoglou has warned always striving for bragging rights will not help Tottenham close the gap on the best in England.

Spurs host Manchester City on Tuesday in a match which could leave home fans conflicted given a positive result against Pep Guardiola's men would put Arsenal in the driving seat to win the Premier League title.

Postecoglou has repeatedly expressed his desire to drag Tottenham into contention to compete for major honours and made clear an obsession with London rivals will not be beneficial.

"I suppose in these last 15 years, there have been years where Tottenham have had bragging rights," Postecoglou reflected with reference to Spurs' last trophy in 2008.

"Walk through the halls, mate, there's no bragging rights there. There's none. The pictures on the wall do not show players with a big sign saying 'We've got bragging rights'. They've just got pictures of Bill Nicholson and people who have actually achieved.

"That's where I want to get us. The funny thing is, if you win trophies, you tend to have bragging rights as well.

"I just want to make sure we stay clearly disciplined and focused. It would be easy for me to say that getting one over your rivals is most important.

"You could do that and not win anything and I would feel great about myself and maybe the fans feel good about me. But we can't be successful if that's our goal.

"Success to me is winning trophies and, until we do that, we have just got to make sure we stay laser-focused on what we want to achieve."

The Tottenham head coach rejected suggestions on Monday that his own fan-base would be happy to lose to City and backed the crowd to help them "ride" the tough moments which will inevitability come against a team who have not lost in 90 minutes since December 6.

He added: "You know against City there will be times when you have to defend, when you have to suffer and when you have to work hard without the ball and they will put you under a lot of pressure, but if we have the crowd behind us, then we can ride those moments and then have our own moments.

"We always finish games strong, we are a fit side particularly going down our end in the second half, there aren't many games when we haven't finished strong. That's going to be important on Tuesday night."

Postecoglou also tipped James Maddison for a key role against City after he produced one of his better displays since his ankle injury in Saturday's 2-1 win over Burnley.

"I thought at the weekend especially he was right back at it. He was really creative, he was working harder and he looked fitter," Postecoglou said of the England midfielder.

"It's taken him a while to get back physically more than anything else to that level. It's a big thing.

"He has missed so much football. I think it's fair to say he lost some confidence as well, but it's fair to say that he was back to the levels we saw earlier in the year and when he's at those levels he can hurt any team with his creativity and his ability to score and create goals.

"He'll be very important to us (against City)."

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