Lloris: Hard work still ahead

by Michelle Fortune , 12 February 2013

Hugo Lloris has warned the toughest part of Tottenham's season is still ahead but he believes they are closing the gap on the Premier League's elite.

Tottenham are firmly in the hunt for a Champions League spot with just a point separating them from third-placed Chelsea, but they are 17 points behind league leaders Manchester United.

Despite being only a point off third spot, Lloris believes the Stamford Bridge outfit as well as the two Manchester clubs are superior to Andre Villas-Boas' side but he believes the gap is not as great as it once was due to the strength of the squad at White Hart Lane.

"Today, there's United, City and Chelsea who are a cut above, and who have more financial means. But Tottenham is just behind," Lloris told French radio station RTL.

"The club has been trying to establish itself in the top four for some years now. For the minute, the season has been promising, but the hardest part is yet to come because there are still a number of key matches to be played and we'll have to be ready for that.

"For the moment, we're well-placed, though we're not beyond a possible charge by Arsenal."

Lloris did not enjoy the best start to his Tottenham career as he found himself behind Brad Friedal in the pecking order, despite being assured he would be the new number one at White Hart Lane.

It was a difficult time for the French captain but he worked hard to impress Villas-Boas and he believes the situation helped him grow as a player.

"I have my personality, my character, and there were times when I was boiling up inside, but that's normal as we're competitors and want to be out there on the pitch," he explained.

"It was a little bit difficult, but I didn't just sit there and take it, I got down to work be it in training or when I had the chance to play, notably in the Europa League, and things just happened naturally after that.

"Things were very clear, that I was coming to Tottenham as the number one. But the manager made a decision at the start, and then made a different one a few weeks later.

"The negotiations [over the move] were with the president, but it was also the choice of the coach.

"I also had talks with him during that time. It's not easy, because I came in after the start of the season, and he was already under pressure because the results were not good at that point in time. It's the sort of situation which helps you grow, it's a personal challenge."

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