What pleased you most about that win?
What pleased me most about that win? Pretty much everything. I absolutely loved the way we handled the game tonight. It was a challenging venue, facing a well-drilled defensive team. I knew it wouldn’t be an open game with plenty of opportunities. However, the boys showed great patience and constantly searched for gaps as we had discussed. Once we took the lead, they displayed tremendous composure to control the game. Even during the dramatic moments at the end, the lads handled it exceptionally well. It was a different challenge for us tonight, and I was delighted with the way we approached it.
Does Brennan Johnson’s impact off the bench demonstrate why you wanted to sign him?
Absolutely, Brennan was outstanding. Despite facing a couple of setbacks that limited his game time and training, he remained patient. In the last few weeks, he has worked hard and shown great dedication in training. I must also mention the other substitutes who made a significant impact. Pierre helped us gain control in midfield, and Emerson was exceptional at left-back. The contributions from our substitutes have been instrumental in seeing out games. I believe tonight highlighted Brennan’s potential and why we brought him to the club.
You mentioned letting the fans dream. Can it last another six months?
Well, dreams have their own lifespan. They endure until someone wakes you up. Whether or not it lasts another six months is uncertain. We’ll have to wait and see.
What does being top of the league and achieving these results do for the players’ belief?
Being at the top of the table is fantastic, but what truly matters is the manner in which we achieve it. From the very first game, we have faced various challenges, and each time the group has shown great focus and clarity in overcoming them. It’s incredibly pleasing to witness. When the players see the rewards of their hard work, it motivates them to keep growing and equips them better for any obstacles in the future. Tonight’s game was particularly tough, given Crystal Palace’s recent form and the tight ground. I loved how we tackled these challenges as a group.
How do you ensure that the players stay grounded?
I don’t sense any complacency within the squad. When they come to training every day, they witness the same environment. They know that training will be intense and competitive. This creates a mindset where they can’t think about anything other than giving their best and continually pushing themselves. If any player starts getting distracted by external factors, it means they aren’t the right fit for our club. Fortunately, I don’t sense that in this group. They are determined, hardworking, and constantly demand improvement from themselves and everyone involved. I have no doubt that this mindset will continue.
Can you shut out the enjoyment of being top and focus on the game?
As I mentioned earlier, you won’t see any difference in my approach. I enjoy every single day of this journey, and I want the players to do the same. It’s not just about being top of the table; it’s about living the dream. We have the privilege of playing for an incredible football club, doing what we love. The most important thing is honoring that responsibility bestowed upon us. Providing joy, belief, and hope to our supporters is our duty as a football club. We need to keep feeding into that.
How pleased are you with the connection between the players and the fans?
I must say, the connection has been there right from the start. The supporters have shown immense support for this group of players from day one. The results are great, and we’re in an excellent position in the table. However, I believe they appreciate the effort and dedication the players put into representing the club. It’s not just about our football; it’s about our attitude, intent, and values as a group. That is what the fans want to see from their Tottenham team. The fact that we’re winning adds to the special bond between the players and the supporters.
How impressed are you with the players finding solutions on the pitch?
On matchdays, it’s all about the players. There’s little I can do on the pitch to help them. That responsibility lies with them. Our role as coaches is to provide them with the tools to find solutions. I often compare it to prepping for an exam. We equip them during training, but the actual game presents unique challenges. They have to figure it out themselves, just like in an exam where you can’t ask for help. The players have been taking on that responsibility brilliantly, and they no longer need to rely on me or the bench for guidance. It’s satisfying to see them handle these situations independently.
Michael Johnson is your soccer guru, providing extensive coverage of soccer. With a global perspective, he delivers match reports, player interviews, and insights into the beautiful game, ensuring readers stay connected to the world of soccer.