Ange Postecoglou Believes There Is Plenty More To Come From Micky Van De Ven

Micky van de Ven's hamstring injury, suffered during the home defeat to Chelsea in November, forced him to miss nine games and coincided with a collapse in form that saw Spurs drop from top of the table to fifth

Gareth Fuller/PA
Ange Postecoglou praised Micky van De Ven after his goal helped Tottenham beat Nottingham Forest 3-1. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

Ange Postecoglou praised an “outstanding” display from Micky van de Ven after the defender’s goal helped Tottenham climb into the Premier League’s top four with a 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest. (More Football News)

Spurs have lost only one league game that the 22-year-old defender has completed since joining from Wolfsburg and his second-half strike to restore their lead helped change the shape of a game in which Forest had arguably been on top until that point.

A hamstring injury suffered during the home defeat to Chelsea in November forced him to miss nine games and coincided with a collapse in form that saw Spurs drop from top of the table to fifth.

“He’s got a real appetite and determination for being the best he can be in every game,” said Postecoglou. “His defensive work was outstanding again today and it’s a great strike for the goal from a well-worked set-piece."

“It's a credit to him. We’re not the ones who are going to put any limits on his growth. We keep providing an environment for these guys to keep pushing themselves. Not just Micky but others will be dragged along as well because they’re all competing.”

The home side took the lead in the first half via an own goal from Forest defender Danilo, sliding in to turn Timo Werner’s low cross from the left past his own goalkeeper.

Photo: File

Chris Wood levelled with a smart first-time finish from Anthony Elanga’s pass but the game turned on a chance that fell to the New Zealand striker moments later, thumping the ball against the post from two yards out with the goal seemingly at his mercy.

The match then changed in the space of six decisive second-half minutes.

First, Van de Ven smashed in his first goal at home for the club from the edge of the box, beating Matz Sels with a wicked drive after being set up by Son Heung-min.

Then, Pedro Porro matched the feat of his fellow defender with a bullet of his own, crashing the ball home after Rodrigo Bentancur had got a flick on James Maddison’s cross to send Spurs above Aston Villa and into pole position to finish fourth.

“I couldn’t care less about the race for fourth,” said Postecoglou. “What I care about is the way the team is progressing."

“Pleased with today. It had a little bit of everything. We started the game well, not just the goal, I thought we controlled the game well."

“Then we conceded from a counter attack which was obviously disappointing. I thought we lost our way a little bit towards the back end of that first half but a super reaction and the whole second half we were really dominant.”

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo reflected on a game that got away from his side after the interval.

“The first half was very good but disappointed with the way we started the second half,” he said. “We should have been more aggressive."

“We wanted the second half to sustain and go again. Unfortunately we didn’t achieve it.”