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Ange Postecoglou: Champions League is not enough for Tottenham

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Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs face Aston Villa in a key match in the race for Champions League qualification – Getty Images/DanehouseAnge Postecoglou has warned that Manchester United and Newcastle United are proof qualifying for the Champions League would not be a “golden ticket” for his Tottenham side.Fifth-placed Tottenham face a Champions League showdown with fourth-placed Aston Villa on Sunday, although both teams could still qualify if England manage to earn an extra place in next season’s tournament.But Postecoglou made it clear he is not studying the Uefa coefficient rankings to see whether or not fifth place would be enough and insists Champions League qualification offers no guarantees for the future.Spurs head coach Postecoglou said: “Right now, the most important thing is us, our identity and our football because just getting into it, it’s not a Willy Wonka golden ticket, you know?“It just gets you a year in the Champions League. But if you don’t build on that or grow from that, it is meaningless, I think anyway. Because we’re not in it for participation. We’re in it to win things.“Yes, if we make the Champions League this year it means we’ve progressed from last year. But has our football progressed? Are we a better team? Are we a stronger team? Are we going to improve in the summer to make sure that next year we are going to be even better? That’s much more important to me.”Manchester United and Newcastle United qualified for this season’s Champions League, but were eliminated in the knockout stages and have both had indifferent campaigns.Postecoglou did not name either club, but the reference was clear when he said: “There are a couple of teams who got into the Champions League this year from last year, who had a good season. Does that guarantee anything the following season? No. I’ve said all along, I’m in no desperation to get something just for comfort or insurance. I’m here to create a team that wins things. For me, it defies logic – I’m just not built that way – to aim for anything other than the top.“My target this year has always been to create a team that I hope will lay strong foundations for moving forward being a team that can win things. That’s where it begins and ends. Logically, if we’ve improved and made the Champions League, it means we’ve had a decent year. But that isn’t going to give me any comfort if we’re not playing the football that I want to play and we haven’t improved in the off-season to make sure we’re ready for the next step.”

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