Spurs keeper: Showdown with Liverpool is just as important as the victory over Arsenal
Hugo Lloris says Tottenham must cut short their derby celebrations and focus on an equally important showdown with Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow (Tuesday).
Spurs came from behind to beat north London arch-rivals Arsenal 2-1 at White Hart Lane on Saturday, and the goalkeeper is proud to have played his part in a momentous day for the club.
But he has urged the squad to move straight on to the next challenge - taking the momentum and confidence forward and avoiding a fifth successive defeat against top-four rivals Liverpool, who sit four points behind the Lilywhites.
“It was a good team performance and it was really good for our confidence,” said Lloris. “But it is only one game. Of course it was a derby and we are really proud, every Spurs fan is really happy - it was important to beat Arsenal and it’s a great feeling as a Spurs player.
“But now it’s a new day and we need to be focused because the Liverpool game has the same importance as the last game.
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“I think we are improving and we are in a good dynamic. We need to keep the same mentality and try to put the same intensity into the game. I know it’s not easy because the game comes quickly but we need to show the same desire, and then we have a good team spirit and talented players who can be decisive for us.”
Spurs had a good record against Liverpool between November 2010 and November 2012, winning four of the five meetings and drawing the other.
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However, Tottenham threw away a 2-1 lead en route to a 3-2 defeat at Anfield in March 2013 – a key moment in the season as they ultimately missed out on fourth spot by one point.
And, since then, the Lilywhites have lost the last three showdowns by an aggregate score of 12-0, including a 3-0 home defeat at White Hart Lane at the end of August.
“The season is very long and of course there are some dips along the way because of form and performance,” said Lloris. “But the key is to work hard every day and there is a great working mentality in the team.
“We always try to do what the manager expects and to give our best on the pitch. It’s more than just individual performances, we’re trying to improve in our performances as a team.
“We believe in the coach’s philosophy and some of the young players have had their chances and they’ve taken it. Now they are in the first XI and they’re ready to fight in every game, to prove themselves. But it’s a long season and a lot of things could happen.”
Tottenham’s No1 goalkeeper can expect to start at Anfield, and then in the following Europa League and Premier League clashes against Fiorentina and West Ham later this month.
However, the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea is looming on the horizon, on March 1, and his deputy Michel Vorm has got the nod in every game in that competition so far.
Asked about his prospects of playing in the Wembley showdown, Lloris said: “It’s the gaffer’s decision. At the moment we are not thinking about the final. The best way to prepare for that is to take things game by game.”
Asked if he wants to play, Lloris replied: “Your question is really easy to answer - everyone does. But as I said it’s the manager’s decision. There’s a great mentality in the squad and if you play or you don’t play, you’re still involved and ready to help the team.
“I’m not thinking about that at the moment, I’m really focused on the next game and then it will be Fiorentina and West Ham. There are a lot of games.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs