Mile Jedinak explains how he helps Ange Postecoglou at key moment in Tottenham matches

By Staff

Mile Jedinak has explained his role at Tottenham Hotspur and how his job involves him helping Ange Postecoglou at half-time during matches.

The former Australia international was brought in by Postecoglou from Aston Villa to help with the young Spurs squad in what is the 39-year-old’s first coaching job with a first team. Jedinak can often be spotted during matches up in the stands with the club’s analysts and he explained his role on a matchday while out in Melbourne promoting the post-season friendly match against Newcastle United on May 22 in the city.

Tottenham have improved greatly in the second half of many of their matches this season, turning games around and scoring in second halves and Jedinak has played a part in the message delivered by Postecoglou at half-time as well as speaking to individual players.

“We’ve obviously got limited spots on the bench and the other coaches have got those positions, which for me is not a real big issue,” he told Optus Sport. “I’m sitting up with the analyst team and with them getting the clips ready for what’s going to happen at half-time to help support Ange’s message.

“On the back of that you go to speak to individuals on any observations you may have made during the game. That may help support them. I’m enjoying that. It’s another side that you see different roles and for me I’m enjoying every single moment of it.”

Jedinak was Postecoglou’s captain with the Australian national side when the Spurs boss was in charge of his country, the pair winning the 2015 Asian Cup together on home soil. The young coach believes he can see the familiar processes being put into place at Tottenham that have existed wherever Postecoglou has gone before.

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“There’s a lot of similarities there [to what he did with the Socceroos]. You’ve mentioned about the winning [mentality] and I think that’s been something that’s followed Ange throughout his career and the way he’s gone about things wherever he’s been. It will be no different here and it’s been no different here,” he explained.

“We know that there’s a process within that and that’s something we’re all a part of. We’re in the early stages of that and it’s something that we’re going to continue to push day in, day out.”

Jedinak is relishing the chance to link up with Postecoglou again and admitted that he and the other members of the coaching staff are absorbing everything they can from the experienced former Celtic boss.

“It’s always nice to link up with someone that you’ve got a huge amount of respect for. The boss, when I had him as my manager, he made me captain for the national team and we had a good four years together,” he said. “Then after that, when you go your separate ways and move on to pastures new we kept in touch.

“When I got the call from him regarding this role it was something that I was only too eager to help out with and I wanted to be a part of. I’m enjoying every single moment, understanding and learning through him and through the other members of staff as well.

“I think for us as a coaching group there are moments where, and I guess it’s down to individuals, people will take what key messages they like to use [from him] and how they deliver messages. There’s a whole lot of that that happens very day and you always take notes, and you’ve obviously got your own way of doing things but it’s always nice to see the way other people operate and use that knowledge for the good of yourself and obviously for the team.”

During the week on the training pitches, part of Jedinak’s work is to help coach the players in a variety of scenarios, including defending set pieces, and he will often join in with his ability to deliver the ball into danger areas still strong, having only retired from playing in 2020.

“I do have a role in the defensive side of [set pieces], which is something I enjoy doing. It’s a big focus in football in general and we’ve got a team of people that work in that, with myself and one of the other coaches who does the attacking set pieces, Ryan Mason, as well as analysts and a whole team of people that get behind that. It’s something that we definitely pride ourselves on, absolutely,” he said.

The Australian is delighted to be out on the grass more than he was at Villa where he was mainly involved with academy players and keeping an eye on their loan development.

“I’m enjoying it absolutely. I’ve been welcomed into the Tottenham family and it’s been tremendous. I’ve enjoyed being a part of it, helping as much as I can, supporting and I look forward to continuing that journey,” he explained.

“It’s a lot more time on the grass [compared to Villa] which is something I was keen to do again and being around the first team, seeing our young and exciting squad. Working with those players has been a real highlight and something that I’m really relishing and enjoying being around, helping to support them and give them the opportunity and platform to produce what they’ve been producing this season.

“When I can get involved I’m always there to help out, whether that’s something they need with my delivery or touches, whatever it may be, that’s your role as a coach and I’m here to support the boys in everything that they do.”

He added: “You come to a big football club and you know where you are from the get-go. You’re here to perform and part of that is learning and understanding and listening and being able to apply some of the knowledge you’ve gained along the way and give that to the lads and staff around you where you can. I’m enjoying every moment of that.”

So what is the aim for Tottenham in the remaining weeks of this season?

“I think for us at this point and until the end of the season it’s just pushing as hard as we can, right until that final moment on that last matchday,” said Jedinak. “Where that gets us it’s hard to see but we’ll take it game by game right up until the end and see how far we can get.”

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