Micky van de Ven's return hands Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou welcome injury boost

Spurs can finally see an end to the defensive problems that have plagued their season

Micky van de Ven of Tottenham Hotspur is back in full training. EPA
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Tottenham have been handed a major defensive boost by the news key centre-half Micky van de Ven is back in full training.

The Dutch international has been sidelined since pulling his hamstring in the 4-1 defeat by Chelsea on November 6. Van de Ven, a summer signing from Wolfsburg, had begun the campaign in great form, helping Spurs to the top of the Premier League thanks to their best start to a season since 1960.

Speaking ahead of today's FA Cup third round tie with Burnley, boss Ange Postecoglou, said: "Micky has trained this week. I'm not sure about Friday's game, he might be involved in the squad. It is good to get him back but obviously he has missed a fair bit so we will have to be careful with him."

Van de Ven's absence, plus a combination of injury and suspension affecting his defensive partner Cristian Romero, has left Postecoglou with a patched-up back four in recent months and results have suffered.

Despite the various selection problems, there haven't been many minutes for former England centre-back Eric Dier, who has this week been linked with West Ham.

But Postecoglou said: "No idea. Not on my radar. [Dier] is contracted to this football club and he is in charge of his own destiny as much as anyone else."

Reports have linked the north London club with a move for Genoa's Romanian international defender Radu Dragusin, but Postecoglou added: "It's hard to say because I don't get involved in that.

"We have some objectives and aims and we're working towards that. People are working behind the scenes. My role in that is to provide guidance or clarity over which way we go."

Tottenham have won seven FA Cups and despite their lofty league position, the competition may provide their best chance of silverware this season. Postecoglou insists he will be taking it seriously – starting against Vincent Kompany's Burnley at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tonight.

"I’m similar to anyone who loves football. The FA Cup is a significant event. The FA Cup reaches every corner of the globe, it is a great competition with great tradition and I am looking forward to having a crack at it," said the Spurs boss.

"At the start of every season, every club has ambitions and dreams of winning silverware. More than anything else it is an opportunity for us to try and win a competition and for a club of our stature that should be the ambition every year.

"I know what I feel. Every competition I am in, I want to win. I don’t rank them or diminish any against others. Whether it’s domestic or continental everything is hard-earned. I have not sensed anything different with this competition. The club has history in this, many of the greatest memories Spurs supporters have will have been in the FA Cup.

"You have to treat it differently. In cup games you know that’s it, you have to give everything on the day and teams tend to play a bit freer to try and get the job done."

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Updated: January 04, 2024, 3:17 PM