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Ange Postecoglou will focus on solutions rather than frustration at absentees


Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou will keep channelling his focus on problem-solving rather than allowing himself to get frustrated at the club’s growing list of absentees.

Spurs won 2-0 at Nottingham Forest last week, but finished the match with 10 men after Yves Bissouma was shown his second red card of the season.

Bissouma will be suspended for four matches and Destiny Udogie is banned for Saturday’s visit of Everton after he received his fifth caution of the campaign at the City Ground.

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It adds to Postecoglou’s problems with Micky van de Ven, James Maddison and Rodrigo Bentancur already ruled out until January while attackers Ivan Perisic and Manor Solomon have been long-term absentees since September.

Postecoglou said: “I think it is important from my perspective that you don’t deal in the extreme because it is an emotional game. There are enough people who get emotional about these things so it doesn’t need me to add to that.

“My job in all of this is to ultimately find solutions rather than focus too much on the fall-out of any issues we’ve had because I guarantee you once we get all the players back, there will be something else.

“Like I said, it is important for the players and staff that they know through that process my role is to charter a way forward rather than focus on the fall-out from any challenges we may have.”

Bissouma faced criticism for his challenge on Forest midfielder Ryan Yates but Postecoglou has not felt the need to address discipline with him.

“People can say what they want but he has just mistimed a tackle. It is not like he has gone in dirty on anyone,” the Spurs boss added.

“I have always felt the best remedy is that if a guy feels he is missing out, then that kind of helps in that process of not letting it affect their game but also understanding the impact it can have.

“Always I kind of understand that they are all human beings and they will make mistakes, like all of us they are given the opportunity to learn from those mistakes.”

Postecoglou must now decide how best to replace Bissouma and while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has deputised for him at times this season, Oliver Skipp will get minutes in the defensive midfield role over the next week with games to come against Brighton and Bournemouth.

“Obviously we’ve had Pierre there and Biss, even Bentancur when he came back, so there is a fair bit of flexibility on who we use there,” Postecoglou explained.

“But Skippy can play at six and probably will play there.

“We have three games over the next week so he probably will get an opportunity at some point in that position.”

Tottenham have only lost one of their last 20 league meetings with Everton, but Sean Dyche’s team have been galvanised by a 10-point deduction for a breach of financial regulations in November.

The 16th-placed Toffees are one of the Premier League’s in-form clubs with seven wins from their last 10 fixtures.

Postecoglou concluded: “Sean’s done an outstanding job but when you get hit with something like that, it’s often a measure of the playing group and the manager how they respond to adversity and you’ve got to say the response has been first class.”



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