LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s Ange Postecoglou has enjoyed the best start by a new manager in the Premier League but the Australian said a slipshod second half during their 2-0 win over Fulham had tempered the satisfaction of going top of the table.
The home fans were in celebratory mood thanks to goals by Son Heung-min and James Maddison either side of the break.
But Spurs lost their hold on the game in the final half an hour as passes went astray and tackles were missed and they could have paid the price had London rivals Fulham been more ruthless with their finishing.
Postecoglou’s side have 23 points from a possible 27 with seven wins and two draws, two clear of champions Manchester City Arsenal. He has a point more than Dutchman Guus Hiddink managed in February 2009 after his first nine games as Chelsea manager.
But there is unlikely to be much crowing on the training ground with the straight-talking Postecoglou critical of the way his players ended the game against Fulham.
“Really disappointed with the second half,” the former Celtic boss told reporters. “With the ball we were nowhere near the levels we have been all year. That’s probably the worst sort of 45 minutes with the ball we’ve had.
“We’ve got to make sure we stay disciplined in our approach because in the end (Guglielmo Vicario) made a couple of great saves to keep a clean sheet.
Maddison said Postecoglou had gone “ballistic” during a similar display in pre-season and some harsh words could be spoken before Friday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
That said, Tottenham will go to Selhurst Park with the chance to move five points clear at the top – a scenario not even the most optimistic fans could have envisaged.
“Pleased with the start we’ve had, credit to all involved,” Postecoglou added. “We are where we are because we deserve to be, but plenty of reminders that there is work to do.
“That second 45 gave me plenty to think about! I’m not going to let the fact that we’ve won the game disguise the opportunity there for us to improve …”