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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Pochettino gives backing to under-fire Lloris

AFP , Tuesday 2 Apr 2019
Lloris
Tottenham's under-fire keeper Hugo Lloris has been backed boss Mauricio Pochettino AFP
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Mauricio Pochettino said on Tuesday that Hugo Lloris will remain in goal for Tottenham despite a series of costly errors this season.

Lloris has endured fresh criticism after his fumble led to Toby Alderweireld's decisive own goal in the final minutes of Tottenham's 2-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.

It is not the first time this term the Tottenham captain has made a mistake that ended up haunting his team.

But Spurs boss Pochettino has always backed the France World Cup winner, even in the wake of a drink-driving charge earlier in the campaign.

Pochettino confirmed Lloris would be in goal for Tottenham's first game in their new stadium against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

"He is my captain. He's one of the best keepers in the world. There's no doubt," Pochettino said.

"There's no doubt that Hugo is one of the best and he's going to be in the goal.

"It's a situation that is so painful because I think we deserved more (at Liverpool), but in that kind of situation, which happens in football, it's only to be strong and back our player.

"I think Hugo is going to be, like always, great for us. He was great for us.

"He was so important in all that process in five years, and for sure he's going to be one of the most important players for the future of the club too."

Tottenham's return home to their 62,062-seater stadium could not have come at a better time as they look for a morale boost after a wretched run.

They have taken just one point from their past five Premier League games, which has seen them not only drop out of the title race but also put their top-four place in serious peril.

There were signs of promise in the cruel loss to Liverpool and Pochettino is sure that their new home will be graced by Champions League football next term.

 Top-four fight

"Of course, the best stadium in the world must have the Champions League," he said.

"It would be a shame to not be in the next Champions League.

"But we are going to fight. We are in the top four, disappointed with the last result but of course it's not the same.

"Against Liverpool we deserved more, played really well second half, the feeling was so good. Playing like this I have no doubts we are going to be in the top four and playing in the Champions League next season.

"It's in our hands. It's a mini-league and playing five games in our new stadium will be a big boost for our players and fans. It's up to us to achieve that."

Tottenham, who have been playing at Wembley for the past two years, have had a painstaking wait following frustrating delays to the stadium's opening this season, which have postponed their moving-in date from August 2018.

But Pochettino is ready for a special day in the club's history.

"It's going to be very special, at last the new stadium is a reality," he said. "Now it's so close, just over 24 hours until we play in our new home.

"It's an exciting moment in the history of the club. Everyone will realise the magnitude of the project."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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