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Spurs keeper: My man of the match award is a symptom of our ‘difficult season’

22:38 23 April 2014

Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris

PA Archive/Press Association Images

For most players, earning the man of the match award is cause for celebration – but not for Hugo Lloris.

The French goalkeeper showed his qualities again in the 3-1 home win over Fulham on Saturday, most notably when he dived to tip Hugo Rodallega’s powerful header over the bar before saving Steve Sidwell’s penalty to maintain his side’s two-goal cushion.

The 27-year-old left White Hart Lane with a bottle of champagne but there were no smiles because, for Lloris, the fact that he was so busy again is another symptom of Tottenham’s “difficult season”.

“It’s always a pleasure to receive that kind of thing but if the goalkeeper is man of the match then it means the team didn’t do the job properly,” he said.

“We conceded too many chances, but we were strong and we did the job. I think we put in a good performance offensively. We had good possession of the ball and I think the better team won.

“Fourth place is finished. We’re trying to finish as high as possible. We’re still in the race for the fifth place and we’re going to try and win the last three games because we’ve not had an easy season – maybe a difficult season.”

The good news for Lloris is that the only way is up, but he admits he has been disappointed to see the Lilywhites capitulating in some of their biggest games.

“It will be difficult to do worse next season, especially against the top four or five teams,” he said.

“I mean we had a lot of bad defeats. We sometimes had the feeling that we give up, and we can’t allow this kind of behaviour. We have to show more character.

“We did it in different games, but we have to keep our mentality at the best level because in this league you have to be 100 per cent every time you play.

“I’m a competitor and I always try to do my best for the team. I want to see my team-mates do the same – but football is not easy. It’s a collective sport and we have to go all together in the same way.

“It’s strange because we have a feeling that we can play at a very high level, but we can also play at a very bad level during the same game. It has put us in trouble a lot of times this season.”

While Lloris feels Spurs were unfortunate to miss out on Champions League qualification last year, he believes the Lilywhites can only blame themselves for falling well short this time.

“Last season we were so close, I think we had some regrets,” he said. “This season we have no regrets because we didn’t have the level to finish in the top four – but we have quality in the squad. We can see our future positively and we’ll see what happens next season.

“This season we were in trouble mainly in games against top teams. We have to learn about that and come back stronger and try to reach our ambition.

“All the players in the squad have the ambition to play in the Champions League. It’s the ambition of the club as well. The fans expect this competition but we’re in the Premier League and it’s not easy to get a ticket.

“This season we had a good start, but after the [6-0] defeat against Manchester City away, we lost a bit of confidence.

“After that we were in trouble, especially with the concentration. We conceded a lot of goals after individual mistakes and you know when you play against top teams that it’s too difficult to come back in the game.

“When you play a team at the bottom of the league or in the second half of the table, you have a chance to come back as we did against West Brom, but we have to improve.

“We know this season that the top four or top five teams were better than us so we have to keep working and hope to be better next season.”

Lloris added: “I’ve got some responsibility because of my function, because I’m a goalkeeper and I am a French international. I have to work every day to help the team to be at the top.

“I want to be honest, this season was difficult for everyone because of a lot of bad defeats. We have to keep working. For some players, we have the World Cup to prepare for so we have to think about it.

“The best way to prepare is to perform for your club. Now we have to finish the job. I hope and wish we will win the last three games for us, the club and the fans and then we will start to prepare and think about the World Cup.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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