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Ange Postecoglou says there will be changes to the Tottenham squad, possible targets, departures and Richarlison’s contract

Ange Postecoglou said Tottenham have a lot of work to do if they want to become serious rivals for the Premier League title, and predicted there will be changes to the squad.

Fifth-placed Spurs suffered a third successive defeat on Friday, losing 2-0 at Chelsea, following a 3-2 defeat at home to arch-rivals Arsenal last week and a 4-0 thrashing at Newcastle.

The club look likely to miss out on a place in next season’s Champions League – they are seven points behind Aston Villa with just four games remaining, although they have a game in hand.

Tottenham, pioneers in the Premier League this season, have not won a major trophy since lifting the 2008 League Cup and it has been more than 60 years since they were last crowned English champions.

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“We need a change. Change has to happen,” Postecoglou said.

“You can’t want to dramatically alter the course of this club because we’re going in a certain direction. And now we are turning in a completely different direction, we hope the same people are in it. It’s just not going to happen.

“We’ve had two windows and we’ve had some player development, no doubt, but when I say we still have a long way to go, that’s what I mean. We can’t get there yet because it’s impossible to say there will be drastic changes and still expect everyone to be on that journey.

“It’s not for lack of trying. It’s just that we’re going to play a certain way, we’re going to train a certain way, we’re going to have a certain mentality and that’s not for everyone. And in the same way, whether it’s Liverpool or Arsenal, if you look at the beginning of their journeys, when they win the competition or are successful, the team is almost unrecognizable.

“We have already made difficult decisions, we let some experienced players go. Some of those decisions aren’t that difficult because whether it’s a player or a staff member, they figure it out themselves and say, ‘You know what? I have a better way somewhere else and you have a better way here.’ ‘

“I have to change this team, I have to do it because I have to form a team that I believe can play our football. For that to happen, there have to be exits.”

Ange Postecoglou stated that there will be changes.  (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
Ange Postecoglou stated that there will be changes. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP

Star striker Richarlison is one of the players who could leave according to The Telegraph UK, with the publication also reporting that “Spurs are set to cash in on the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Emerson Royal.”

Midfielder Yves Bissouma is not expected to leave, although The Telegraph reported that “an attractive offer” for the midfielder could force Tottenahm to reconsider that stance.

As for players Tottenham could bring in, The Telegraph’s report lists midfielders Conor Gallagher and Amadou Onana, defenders Lloyd Kelly and Tosin Adarabioyo and wingers Raphinha and Samuel Iling-Junior as potential targets.

An “absolute striker” is also reportedly on Postecoglou’s wish list.

Speaking ahead of Monday’s game against Liverpool, Postecoglou admitted Tottenham are “a long way away” but was optimistic the team could still challenge next year.

“I think in terms of the team I want us to be, we’re pretty far away, but I don’t rule out the fact that we have to be competitive and strive for success every year I’m here,” he said.

The Australian, previously in charge of Celtic, added: “Every job I have taken on has had difficult moments. Sometimes at the beginning, sometimes in the middle, sometimes at the end.

“Nothing surprises me and it is a necessary part.

“That’s how you grow. You don’t grow up thinking that everything is going to be okay. “You need to go through these times and discover yourself.”

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Postecoglou said he hoped his players would channel the pain of their derby defeats to London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.

“Big games will always be big games and you need to feel the pain, but understand that kind of intensity will always be there when you represent this football club,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone has avoided it and I don’t think it’s for lack of effort or desire.

“But if you haven’t been put in that situation before, it’s confrontation, it’s defiance and that’s how you work your way through it.”

There has at times been criticism of Postecoglou’s tactical stubbornness, but the Australian said he will continue to stand up for what he believes is best for the team, even if it proves their downfall in the Premier League.

“I believe in what I believe to the core. I will stay at the top, I will die a noble death, believing in what I believe,” she said.

“Like everything in life, once you feel like something is working for you, something you believe in brings you success, and it does, you keep going.

“Maybe the Premier League is a step too far, mate. Who knows? Maybe, maybe, but I’ll still be on that hill, hurt, with my last breath saying, “I believe, I believe.”

“But I do, I really do, buddy. And while it’s here, that’s what you’ll see. You will see this team play the way I want.”