'The Carabao Cup was my priority' - Ange Postecoglou 'disappointed' after Spurs' trophy route closes early with second-round loss to Fulham

Ange Postecoglou Tottenham 2023-24Getty
  • Tottenham lost on penalties to Fulham
  • Knocked out of Carabao Cup
  • Postecoglou "disappointed" with the result

WHAT HAPPENED? After a brilliant start to life at north London, picking up seven points in three Premier League games, Postecoglou tasted his first competitive defeat on Tuesday evening after his troops went down 5-3 in a penalty shootout, after being held to a 1-1 scoreline in regulation time, with Davinson Sanchez missing his spot kick. The Australian did not hide his disappointment with the result as his much-changed team were edged out by a spirited Fulham, with Spurs seeing a clear route to silverware slammed shut at the earliest possible stage.

WHAT THEY SAID: “We are obviously disappointed," Postecoglou told reporters after the match. “We were not at our fluid best but that was not surprising given the changes. I liked the way we hung in there, but ultimately we could not get over the line.

“The Carabao Cup was my priority. There is no European football so how am I going to find out about my players? They are all part of the club. That doesn’t mean the cup or any game isn’t our priority.

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“We are very much at the discovery stage, so we need to find out and give the players the opportunity to contribute if we are going to need them over the next few weeks. We are going to need to rely on these guys, and this was an opportunity to do that."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Postecoglou lamented Spurs' failure to control possession during the second round tie, but insisted his side will improve as they continue to go through a "process".

"We gave the ball away too much - and that is still something we need to keep working on," he said. "We have come away having lost on penalties to another Premier League side. If we had been beaten 4-0 or got blown away then maybe there would be another conversation. But this is part of the process that we are going through."


Davinson Sánchez - Tottenham Hotspur 2023GettyTottenham boss Ange Postecoglou looks on at Gtech Community StadiumGetty Images

WHAT NEXT? Tottenham will look to bounce back from the defeat and return to winning ways on Saturday against Burnley in a Premier League fixture.