Ange Postecoglou has praised Tottenham vice-captain Cristian Romero for stepping up in Son Heung-min’s absence.
Spurs are without current skipper Son due to his international commitments with South Korea and Romero is set to wear the armband again in Friday’s FA Cup tie with Manchester City.
Romero was captain for the 2-2 draw at Manchester United two weeks ago and Postecoglou talked up his growing leadership qualities.
“You just feel it around the place. He knows that Sonny’s not here and he knows what Sonny does on a daily basis.
“Sonny gets around everyone in the building and says, ‘how you going?’ and Cristian’s doing that now. I can see that. In training he’s a lot more vocal than he was in the past. That’s the beauty of it.
“There is a void because you’re missing one of your leaders, but for me, on the outside, you’re kind of waiting on, ‘is anyone going to step up here because we’re going to need someone to or do I need to interject myself into it?’ But he’s stepped up.
“There’s been others too, Vic (Guglielmo Vicario) in goal, he’s stepped up.”
Spurs were able to regroup during December and while they remain without Son, Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma due to the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations respectively, the Australian feels the adversity has accelerated the growth of his young group in his debut campaign in charge.
“There’s a really good feeling amongst the group at the moment over where they’re at,” Postecoglou added.
“They understand that because of what we’ve been through, ‘OK, somebody’s missing, man down, but somebody fills that void and we keep going until they come back’. I think it’s been good for the growth of the team.
“We could have flown through this first half of the year and I’m sure all the questions to me would’ve been, ‘what happens when there’s a hiccup?’ and I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question.
“I’d bluff my way through it but I wouldn’t have been able to really answer it.
“But I already know, I’ve seen the resilience and part of that is how I’ve dealt with those absences.”