was proud of his makeshift team’s effort and commitment against Wolves despite losing all three points in stoppage time at Molineux.
The north Londoners went into Saturday’s lunchtime clash off the back of a 4-1 defeat at home to on Monday night – their first defeat of the season – and were without a host of key players due to injuries and suspensions.
Despite that, a flowing team move saw Brennan Johnson tap home from close range to give the visitors a lead inside the first three minutes.
Wolves responded well to the setback and, despite having less possession than their opponents, carved out the better chances but lacked a clinical edge to find an equaliser – at least until stoppage time.
From a quick throw-in, substitute Pablo Sarabia brought down the ball with one touch and fired into the bottom corner with his next to net a goal-of-the-season contender, finally breaking Tottenham’s stubborn resolve in the 91st minute.
Suddenly both sides tried to go for the win at the death and it was Wolves who claimed all three points after a blistering passage of play, with a quick free-kick releasing Sarabia, who played a lovely though-ball in behind the Spurs defence for Mario Lemina to guide home and seal a 2-1 victory.
Despite being on the receiving end of a sucker-punch, Postecoglou was happy with the manner in which his side battled in the contest – even if there is plenty of room for improvement.
‘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,’ said the Australian.
‘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.’
At one point Postecoglou could be heard screaming at his players to ‘get up’ and looked frustrated with his side’s somewhat timid play going forward, but he rejected those suggestions afterwards: ‘I don’t know about that.
‘The first half I just felt that we started well but we could have been a bit more positive and be a little bit more aggressive with the ball.
‘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.
‘We’ve made a couple of changes as well further up and it’s not going to be as fluent but I just felt we could have been more positive, especially in the first half. Second half I thought it wasn’t too bad.
‘I just thought, and maybe because we were winning the game, I think a lot of the guys in the back of their minds, they haven’t played in a while and there was a little bit of self preservation there to get us through to the end of the game. It’s all understandable stuff because of the lineup we had out there.’
Asked what positives he took from the game, Postecoglou added: ‘I’ve already said the character and the commitment. I don’t dismiss that. There’s a massive effort to go out against a strong opponent here at home.
‘The guys are playing their first games of the year, you’re changing three out of a back four so it’s fairly disruptive, especially when guys haven’t played at all. There’s a lot of positives to take from it, they’ll be better for the experience, they’ll be stronger, so plenty of positives.’
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