Captain Lloris warns Spurs not to lose focus ahead of Fulham trip
PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 January 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
The Frenchman looked ahead to Sunday's clash at Craven Cottage and discussed the absence of Harry Kane
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris says they must keep an eye on the teams behind them in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s clash away to Fulham.
Spurs are third in the table after 22 games with 48 points following last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at home to Manchester United.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were looking to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to six points, but failed to and fourth-placed Chelsea are only a single point behind them.
Further back, Man United in fifth and Arsenal, sixth, are both on 41 points, so the race for a spot in the top four is hotting up again.
Lloris said: “We have to prepare for the next few games. There is not only Fulham, there is Chelsea (in the League Cup) coming up and the FA Cup too, so we are still involved in all four competitions.
“The main thing is to finish in the top-four. We said this from the beginning and we don’t change our mind.
“Of course everyone is talking about the teams in front, but it is important to keep looking at the teams behind because in football things can turn very quickly.
“I think it is important to stay consistent and focus on the main thing and then in the League Cup we have an advantage (1-0 up after the first leg).
“It is going to be tough at Stamford Bridge, but we are in a good position and then there is FA Cup and the Champions League is coming quick, so there is no time to think too much. It is just try to recover and be ready.”
When Spurs take on Fulham at 4pm on Sunday, they would have had a whole week to prepare for the game and the time on the training ground is long overdue.
Ironically Tottenham have not had a seven day period to get ready for a match since they last faced the Whites at Wembley Stadium on August 18.
This was right at the beginning of the season, so it shows the type of juggling Spurs’ boss Pochettino has had to deal with in the ensuing months.
He is now facing the prospect of taking on Fulham with Fernando Llorente as his only recognised forward.
The injury to Harry Kane, and Heung-min Son’s departure to the Asian Cup with South Korea, has left Spurs short in attack.
It is the latest issue Pochettino has faced this season and almost certainly won’t be the last either, but Tottenham need a reaction.
Another slip up and the belief and confidence of the Lilywhites’ players could quickly slide ahead of a crucial period of the campaign.
Lloris added: “We all know the importance of Harry in our team, but it is not all about him. Football is about the team and I think every player is ready to help the team.
“In a season you have ups and downs and you need to always adapt to that and we will see about ‘H’. I think everyone is ready and the most important thing is the mind – ready to fight, ready to help and ready to compete.
“Then of course it is better when you have your best players on the field, but it can happen here or it can also happen to the other team.”