Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou said Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers was down to a second-string team playing without the fluency that took them to the top, and he refused to blame those who had hardly played this season.
Spurs took an early lead and held on for 90 minutes before Wolves scored two stoppage-time goals to deny the north London side top spot in the Premier League standings as it fell to its second straight defeat.
“Disappointed obviously, particularly after it happened so late, but it’s part of the pain of football and when things happen in those circumstances you’ve just got to take it,” Postecoglou told reporters.
“I can’t fault the players’ effort or commitment. It was always going to be a tough game anyway at Wolves. We just couldn’t hold out.”
Postecoglou fielded a makeshift starting lineup due to injuries and suspensions, with three of his regular back four missing for the early kickoff at Molineux Stadium.
“We started well but we could have been a bit more positive and be a little bit more aggressive with the ball,” he said.
“I’ve got to temper that with the fact that we’ve made so many changes and we’re not going to get the same type of fluency, especially when particularly three of your back four are virtually starting for the first time.”
He said a lot of his men hadn’t played in a while and were perhaps cautious, looking mainly to get through to the end of the game after their early goal.
Wolves boss Gary O’Neil said it was the proudest he had been of the squad since taking charge of the club days before the season began.
“We were the better side after the first five minutes. Even at 1-0 down after 85 minutes I was proud. The understanding of what we were trying to do and the mentality were excellent,” he told the BBC.
“The two goals make it easier to deliver the message, but I was proud - really pleased, and I’m sure the fans enjoyed it.”
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