Ange Postecoglou underlined how, for a club of Tottenham's stature, winning silverware 'has to be the ambition every year' as Spurs prepare to welcome Burnley to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Friday evening for their FA Cup third-round tie. 

Spurs have an imperious record in third round FA Cup ties, winning all 16 of their last 17 ties. A record which they will aim to continue as Postecoglou’s side attempt to bring the first trophy to N17 since 2008. 

The game against Burnley will represent the same fixture as that of the 1962 FA Cup Final, in which Spurs ran out 3-1 winners courtesy of goals from the iconic Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith and Danny Blanchflower. 

Burnley, meanwhile, approach Friday’s game with fresh optimism compared to their early season woes after beating Fulham over Christmas and narrowly losing to Aston Villa in a game marred by officiating and VAR errors. 

Imperative to any surprise Burnley victory against Tottenham will depend on the Clarets’ ability to keep other the goals, with their last seven games in the FA Cup bringing an average of 4.7 goals per game, while their early season encounter against Tottenham brought seven, in a 5-2 loss. 

Team News

Ahead of tomorrow's game against Burnley, Postecoglou gave a largely positive team news update regarding Micky Van der Ven and James Maddison, describing how Van der Ven has completed the last three training sessions and Maddison has commenced work on the grass.

The Tottenham boss said: "Micky has trained with us which is good. He’s gotten through three training sessions. I am not sure about tomorrow.

“Maddison is not training with us yet. Until they train with us, it’s hard for me to put a timeline on it, he’s running with a sports science crew but not with us and not likely to be with us over the next couple of weeks."

Regarding Argentine striker Alejo Veliz, there was unfortunately less positive news. Postecoglou described how the 20-year-old who went off injured in the final minutes of the 3-1 win over Brighton would be out of action for over two months. 

He said: "Unfortunately for Alejo, it was a fairly significant injury, significant ligament damage and he’ll be out for a couple months. Very disappointing for him as he’s worked hard to get an opportunity and was really growing into it.”

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Cristian Romero, Ryan Sessegnon, Ivan Perisic and Manor Solomon all remain out injured. In addition, Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr have gone on to represent Mali and Senegal in the African Cup of Nations respectively while Son Heung-Min will wear the armband for South Korea in the Asian Cup with all three missing for Tottenham for the next few weeks as they pursue international honours. 

On the importance of the FA Cup

For Ange Postecoglou, Friday's tie will be his first ever experience of the richly-regarded FA Cup. However, the Australian manager is not unaccustomed to winning cup honours having won three in his time at Celtic.

The Spurs manager was keen to point out the importance of winning silverware at Tottenham, but highlighted that it should be a 'cure for all ills' and his job is to create a side that is capable of winning and competing for trophies every year. 

Regarding the significance of the cup compared to the league or continental competitions, the Spurs boss said: "I know what I feel, every competition I’ve been I’ve wanted to win. I don’t really rank them or diminish one against the other. I think to win any trophy you’ve got to earn it whatever completion that is whether it’s domestic or continental. Everything is hard earned. I haven’t sensed anything in this football club that this is not an important competition to win. The club has a history in this competition, we’ve won it every year. It’s provided some of the greatest memories that any living supporters have so I certainly don’t see it that way. For me, I don’t see why your league ambitions have to affect your other ones in competitions.”

Postecoglou continued: “There can’t be a desperation to win a trophy to cure all ills because it doesn’t. Because as soon as you win one what do you think all the fans are going to say. It’s okay because you’ve won one you don’t need to do it again for another 15-16 years? No, they want more."

He added: "So it’s about putting yourself in a position where you can win these things regularly and give yourself every opportunity to win every competition you're in. You know it’s not like winning a trophy and thinking that’s going to be enough. There’d be a demand from players, from the supporters to say we want more of this. I'm determined to bring success to this football club but it's not a desperation. When you're a big football club there should be a constant demand for success.

“We should be competing for honours every year, winning one trophy shouldn’t be the holy grail, it should be competing for them every year.”

On Rodrigo Bentancur

With the departures of Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma for the African Cup of Nations, the weekend return of Rodrigo Bentancur could not have come at a better time for Tottenham. 

The Uruguayan midfielder had previously recovered from a devastating ACL injury to only be forced off again on his first start against Aston Villa back in November.

Against Bournemouth, Bentancur completed an hour and particularly impressed with his usual quality on the ball and in particular, the way he won the ball for Tottenham's first goal, capitalising on a poor pass from Neto to start a Spurs attack that would quickly put them ahead.

 (Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)
(Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

On the midfielder's return, Bentancur said: "He was good. He's feeling the effects of the game but nothing injury-related. It was good to get him out there and he felt good being out there. Like a lot of the injured lads, they want to help out. He'd thought he'd done the hard bit by recovering the first time and then you have another setback, so I don't think he fancied a really long rehab regime again. He was pretty keen to get back and I was happy to give him the minutes he did.

"You could see his qualities from the first minute. He's a quality footballer and when he's back up to speed from a physical perspective I think he's going to be a significant contributor for us."