Captain Lloris ‘expects more’ from Tottenham in Europe
Captain Hugo Lloris says he “expects more from Tottenham” in Europe as the Lilywhites prepare to kick off their continental campaign tomorrow.
Spurs reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League under Andre Villas-Boas in Lloris’ first season at the club in 2013, only missing out on the final four after a penalty shoot-out against FC Basel.
But, since then, they have exited the competition earlier and earlier, bowing out in the last 16 against Benfica in 2014 and then losing to Fiorentina in the first knockout stage last term.
Now, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side prepare to host Azerbaijani outfit FK Qarabag in their opening Group J match at White Hart Lane, Lloris wants to reverse that trend and challenge for the title.
“I expect more from Tottenham,” said the skipper. “I expect more from my mates, and from me as well, because we need to go as far as possible in that competition.
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“We know it’s a trophy to get and when you have ambition you play only for winning. It’s also a possibility to get into the Champions League.
“To do that you need to get to the final and win the final. But it’s so far away, we’re just focus on the group stage and the target is to finish first in this stage.
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“I think all our players were excited after the draw because to play against Monaco and Anderlecht, even Qarabag, it’s a good opportunity to compete. But we need to respect ourselves and play at a good level.
“European competition is always important when you’re a player, when you’re a competitor and we know we need to win this first game because the next two games are away against good teams – Monaco and Anderlecht.
“We expect a tough game. European competition is always hard so we need to be focused and having a winning mentality.”
Lloris has reiterated that he is enjoying life at Spurs, after speculation in the summer that he might depart to Manchester United.
“I’m happy to be at Tottenham,” he said. “I’m the captain and I have some commitments, some responsibilities to my team-mates and I’m really enjoying doing that.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs