Ange Postecoglou has revealed Tottenham are set to be without Micky van de Ven and James Maddison until January.
Centre-back Van de Ven and midfielder Maddison suffered hamstring and ankle injuries respectively in Monday’s 4-1 loss at home to Chelsea.
Spurs also had Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie sent off during their first defeat of the season, which means Postecoglou will be without several key players for Saturday’s trip to Wolves.
“Fair to say a fair bit happened after Monday,” boss Postecoglou reflected.
“Micky obviously with that hamstring injury, we knew it was fairly significant, probably a couple of months for him looking into the new year.
“Madders is a lot worse than we thought. He came off with an ankle injury and the next day wasn’t great, so we sent him for a scan. Again probably into the new year for him.
“Richy (Richarlison) should only be a month so not too long after international break, so they are the main ones, but we’ve got a couple of suspensions as well.
“Ben Davies is back and available. (Pedro) Porro is fine, he trained no problem.”
Postecoglou acknowledged Monday was an “unusual” occasion given Spurs had two players sent off and lost another two to injury in a match where VAR was required on nine occasions in the first half alone.
He admitted the stop-start nature of the technology could contribute to more injuries, adding: “I am not going to draw a direct correlation to Micky’s injury but I was half-tempted to throw some balls out there for them to kick around.
“It’s the reason we have warm-ups but if you’re going into a game, the fact there was only 47 minutes of game time the other night in whatever it was, 110, that is not ideal for the type of athletes we have out there.”
Van de Ven’s absence against Chelsea resulted in Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario adopting the sweeper-keeper role, with the high line still retained despite having nine men.
Plenty of pundits suggested it was naive for Tottenham to not sit deep and Postecoglou insisted there would be no tactical tweaks despite being without key personnel for the foreseeable future.
“Yeah, there is always the temptation but apart from chocolate I am pretty good at not giving into temptation,” Postecoglou joked.
“All the absences have an effect on the team. I guess the unusual one for us, not many times in my career when you have such a disruption for one game.
“We’ve lost four or five starters in one game, three of our back four. That’s where we get affected more than anything else.
“If it was just Micky, you’d miss him because of the qualities he has. It wouldn’t disrupt us as much, but we’ve got to bring in three different players in a back four and that’s the big challenge.”
Maddison’s absence could result in Giovani Lo Celso being given a regular run of games, but Postecoglou suggested he needs to remain cautious with Rodrigo Bentancur after his lengthy lay-off with a knee injury.
🎙 “The guys who’ll come in have been training hard, understand how we play and will give everything they can to try to make us successful…”
The latest from Ange ahead of our return to Premier League action ⤵️
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 10, 2023
He said: “Look, it is not just Gio, it is Bryan Gil, we’ve got to be careful with Bentancur a bit, it is for him, it’s for Skippy, for Eric Dier, for all these guys. That is why they have been training hard.
“They have been training with us, they haven’t been separate from the group.
“Everything we’ve done, we’ve done together. They’ve worked hard and for all of them it is about being prepared for when the opportunity comes. Fair to say the opportunity comes now for a few of them. It’s up to them now to take that opportunity.”