Ange Postecoglou praise has explained major Tottenham recruitment decision

Ange Postecoglou has already made his admiration for Nick Montgomery clear as he prepares to bring the former Hibernian boss on to his Tottenham coaching staff with Sergio Raimundo.

Postecoglou lost his senior assistant head coach Chris Davies to his first managerial job at Birmingham City this summer and has moved to bolster his Tottenham staff with the arrival of former Sheffield United midfielder Montgomery and Raimundo, although neither will be directly replacing 39-year-old Davies. That job will go to the promoted Matt Wells.

The Spurs boss has previously spoken about Montgomery, after the Leeds-born coach won the A-League with Central Coast Mariners last year and was then brought to Scotland by Hibernian last season.

"Nick has done brilliantly in Australia. He did a fantastic job at a club that it is fair to say in Australia is not considered one of the big ones and won the whole thing last year," Postecoglou said in September. "He has done it in a great way where he has developed young players and great he gets the opportunity.

"I am glad people are looking beyond the obvious in terms of candidates whether they are at their doorstep or on the other side of the world. I have no doubt he will do well. I think Hibs is a great club. I remember from being up there it is a big club. When you play against them, you feel like it is a big club and there is an opportunity there to get them into a decent position in the Premiership and European football. I am sure Nick will do that so pleased for him."

At that time, Montgomery had praised Postecoglou's work in forging a path to Europe for other coaches working in Australia to follow as he won five trophies in two seasons at Celtic, including the treble before leaving for Tottenham last summer and a fifth-placed finish in his first season in the Premier League.

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"The media around Ange and the negativity when he came over to Scotland, he quashed that pretty quickly," said the 42-year-old. "Ange is a good guy and I saw the work he did in the A-League in terms of the success he had there and in Japan.

"I saw how good it was for Australian football and he gets a lot of support over there. He has had success everywhere he’s been and I have seen him. I have played against his teams when I first went out there, but I have never coached against him because he had already moved. But I have followed him closely and been impressed with what he’s achieved and I’m sure he is going to be able to achieve more."

Montgomery, who became an Australian citizen in 2017, only lasted eight months at Hibernian before being sacked after failing to finish in the top six in the Scottish Premiership. Some fans of the Edinburgh club felt he had not had long enough to implement his philosophy of attractive, possession-based football and criticised the recruitment, but many supporters had turned on him by the end of the campaign.

Montgomery reportedly rejected a return to manage Melbourne Victory this summer back in the A-League in order to remain in the UK with the offer coming from Postecoglou to get his coaching career back on track.

His assistant at both Central Coast and Hibernian, the Lisbon-born 39-year-old Sergio Raimundo will also be joining Postecoglou's coaching staff.

The Portuguese speaks six different languages and came through the University of Lisbon, before sharing a mentor with Jose Mourinho in Professor Manuel Sergio, who believed Portuguese coaches should also be a psychologist as well as a trainer.

He began working in Benfica's academy before his career took him across the world with jobs in Senegal, Brazil, Canada and Austria. He and Montgomery forged a friendship while undertaking a UEFA A licence coaching course in Belfast, alongside the likes of Harry Kewell, Gaizka Mendieta and Benni McCarthy.

The duo would go on to work together in the Central Coast Mariners academy with great success before taking that to the first team, continuing to develop many of the young players and transforming the Mariners into A-League winners in 2023.

Raimundo previously spent three years in the Portuguese military, a culture shock after his early years playing in rock bands, so he will be disciplined in the way he pushes Postecoglou's players and he said in an A-League interview last year he said he sees a kindred spirit in Montgomery.

"Nick is someone very much of the same mindset. He was never in the army but he could’ve been because his family background is from the army. His father was there and he’s very disciplined,” he said.

"Everything put us together and combining into a moment – the knowledge, his experience as a pro footballer. That’s why we’re pushing the boys here to their best. Physically but almost mentally. That’s why they’re so strong. We can go 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 down… it doesn’t matter because we believe we can score one more than the opponent."

Both men are set to bring plenty of discipline and Postecoglou's required workrate to the training sessions at Tottenham. The Spurs boss sets up training so the coaching staff all take 15 minutes each to keep the players on their toes throughout the sessions, which last the same 95-100 minutes as matches do and with the same intensity.

Montgomery and Raimundo will be joining a coaching staff under Postecoglou that currently contains Wells, Ryan Mason, Mile Jedinak and goalkeeping coach Rob Burch.

The arrival of Montgomery and Raimundo is another example of Postecoglou looking for like-minded coaches that he can give an opportunity to, push on his club and put them in the frame to get back into management themselves.

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