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Postecoglou tells Tottenham’s Romero to expect tackle scrutiny

Ange Postecoglou said on Thursday he has told Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero his tackling technique will be under the microscope for the rest of the season.

Romero, who only returned from the three-game ban following a red card against Chelsea earlier this month, faced renewed criticism on Sunday for a poor challenge on Callum Wilson near the end of Spurs’ 4-1 win over Newcastle.

A VAR review decided an on-field punishment of a booking was sufficient, but had Romero seen red he would have been left facing a four-match suspension that would have added to the problems confronting a Tottenham team already missing eight first-team players for Friday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

“It’s fair to say the spotlight will be on him for the rest of the year,” Spurs manager Postecoglou told reporters.

“Any challenge he does, whether it’s something that’s pretty clear like the Chelsea game or last week, which I thought was as much clumsy as anything else.

“He knows that, he understands that. He’s just got to make the adjustments that he needs to do during the game, but I don’t think it’s a subject for long chats.

“It’s pretty evident the impact he has on us when he’s playing and when he’s not and we much prefer to have him out there.”

Tottenham failed to win any of the matches which Romero missed through suspension and his ban coincided with fellow defender Micky van de Ven being out of action with a hamstring injury.

Van de Ven will not play again until January and while Postecoglou is encouraged by the partnership of Romero and full-back Ben Davies, he is looking to bring in another central defender in the transfer window. 

“As a team I thought we were a lot more organised with our press (against Newcastle),” Postecoglou said. 

“Romero makes a big difference to that but I thought Ben Davies was outstanding as well last week. He’s getting a run of games now but we’ve always got to be mindful he is not a centre-back.

“We’ve been very fortunate that Ben’s been able to fill in for us there. He’s really good at taking in information, he really understands the game, not just his own role but how we want to play and that’s helped him.

“Having Romeo next to him helps in that sense and Vic (Guglielmo Vicario) because he’s taken a bit of a leadership role back there as well.

“Ultimately, we still need to sign another centre-back because at the moment we are a little bit on tenterhooks because if something happens again we are short and we are already short.”

Postecoglou added Giovani Lo Celso would miss the Forest fixture with a niggling injury suffered in training this week.

Victory over Newcastle gave Tottenham their first win in six matches. Since topping the Premier League after beating Crystal Palace on October 27, Spurs had lost four of their next five games.

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