Hugo Lloris: Tottenham’s defensive sturdiness bodes well for the season ahead
Captain Hugo Lloris says Tottenham’s defensive sturdiness bodes well for the season ahead after the Lilywhites kept another clean sheet in yesterday’s highly impressive 2-0 home win over league leaders Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s City scored 18 goals in their first six league fixtures, averaging three per match – but Spurs shut them out, winning to nil for the sixth time in their opening 10 matches in all competitions.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have only conceded three times in their seven Premier League fixtures – the meanest record in the top flight - and they are now the only unbeaten side in the division, while they have made their best start to a league campaign since 1960-61, when they were last crowned champions.
“Last season we were already one of the best defences in the league so I think it’s one of our basics to be strong at the back,” said goalkeeper Lloris.
“It doesn’t mean we’re a defensive team – we’re the opposite. We try a lot and have a lot of risk in our game, trying to play as high up as we can on the pitch, putting pressure on, as we did especially in the first half yesterday.
“This is our football style - but we have the ability to play with different options, like we did in the second half, playing a bit deeper, waiting and counter-attacking. Football is always about spirit and team performance and this was the perfect example.
“If you look at the City performances, they won their last six games but they conceded a lot of chances and some goals.
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“It’s just about belief - we know at home anything is possible. We try to be very aggressive at the start of the game and put a lot of pressure on the other side. In that way we were rewarded with two goals and then we had to manage that.
“It was a bit unlucky that we didn’t score the third goal to be safe, but that’s football and we were very proud and pleased with the result in the end.”
Asked whether Tottenham’s victory over City ranks among their very best performances under Pochettino, Lloris said: “I don’t want to say that because we’ve had some great performances in the past.
“Last season we did well against this team (Man City) in the league. I think it’s following on from last season.
“It’s always easier to speak after a good performance and a win like this, but it’s too early to speak about this season. There are still a lot of games ahead.
“I was already proud to sign for a club like Tottenham, but it’s true that we’re in a good moment. That’s thanks to the gaffer and all the staff, and thanks to the players because we’re all involved. The spirit is fantastic. We work very hard every day so for us it’s not a surprise to be at this level.
“As long as we keep the same mentality and spirit we can have ambition. In football you need to have a lot of respect for your opponents and that’s why you need to keep working hard every day.
“We have a young team with a lot of talent. We need to make sure we’re not changing our mind, just being the same, and that’s why we enjoy our time at Tottenham, because the spirit is excellent.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs