James Maddison has revealed the ‘non-negotiable’ message Ange Postecoglou delivered to the Tottenham Hotspur squad that has inspired their impressive start to the season.
The former Celtic manager has made a major impact since taking charge at Spurs during the summer as his new side embarked on a nine-game unbeaten run that has taken them to the top of the Premier League table.
Summer signing Maddison has been a key factor in implementing Postecoglou’s demands after scoring three goals and providing five assists during his first nine appearances for the club since he completed a reported £40m move during the summer transfer window.
In the aftermath of Monday’s 2-0 home win against Fulham, the England international admitted Postecoglou had slammed his players for failing to meet one required standard in pre-season and revealed the impact his comments had made of his side’s mindset during the early months of his reign.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s one of the main messages. If you look back at the teams he has managed, they’ve always been front-foot, pressing teams and the first day he came in he said pressing high is a non-negotiable at any stage of the game.
“I think in pre-season when we went 1-0 or 2-0 up and we’ve stopped pressing and sat in a little bit. He went ballistic at half-time against Shakhtar Donetsk here because he said that’s how Tottenham have been in the past trying to protect a lead. He said that’s non-negotiable to keep going, keep pressing and we go and score three and four. It’s a conscious thing on my mind and the team’s mind that we press from the start and no matter what the score is we keep pressing.”
Spurs are back in action on Friday when night when they face a second London derby inside a week with a visit to Crystal Palace.