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Postecoglou defends Spurs’ Melbourne friendly amid player welfare concerns

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Melbourne awaits as Tottenham look to end season on a high in Australia

Tottenham Hotspur have been on the receiving end of massive criticism for the friendly they are about to play in the post-season, and Lilywhites boss Ange Postecoglou has come to defend his side’s upcoming friendly in Melbourne. 

The North Londoners are set to face Premier League rivals Newcastle United at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. There have been ample concerns raised about the welfare of the players as the game is scheduled to kick off only 72 hours after the conclusion of the English Premier League, complemented by the environmental concerns of traveling all the way to Australia for a one-off friendly.

Both teams boarded their flights down south just hours after the conclusion of the season. 

The game is set to take place as one of three games part of Global Football Week in Melbourne, with Arsenal women also be heading to the lands of Oz for a friendly against A-League All Star Women on Friday night.

Postecoglou explains rationale behind Spurs’ Melbourne friendly

Ange Postecoglou speaks to the media during a Tottenham Hotspur press conference at AAMI Park on May 21, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier criticized the schedule of the friendly and was vocal about the twenty-five-hour flight and the European Championship around the corner. 

The Tottenham boss was also quizzed about the criticism that the club has faced with the game on Wednesday, where the former Celtic coach acknowledged how Spurs haven’t played European football this season and another game would help the squad; however, he also ensured to speak about how this wouldn’t work for him if his team played more games throughout the season.

Speaking ahead of the game against Newcastle, Ange said (via. Australian broadcasting outlet Nine):

Tottenham Hotspur FC took part in open training session at AAMI Park today. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

“Our situation is a bit different from Newcastle’s. They’ve had a European season, the Champions League—it’s been a big season. We haven’t. I certainly wouldn’t have allowed it to happen if we were in Europe this year and had a bigger game schedule. I probably would have said no to it.”

“And I don’t think the club would have expected us to go. If we’re in Europe next year, I don’t think you’ll be seeing this happen. I don’t think it’s ideal. But I think each situation is unique. For us, on the back of our season, to play one more game two days after the end of the season, there is substance to it for us.”

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For Spurs fans in Australia, this is a wonderful opportunity to feel part of the season and the progress the club has made under Ange this season.

The game will kick off at 10:45 a.m. UK time and will be streamed live on the club’s SpursPlay channel.

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