France keeper Lloris put Spurs troubles to one side
HELSINKI, Sept 6 — France captain Hugo Lloris has pushed aside speculation about his prospects at his new club Tottenham Hotspur as he prepares for today’s World Cup qualifier against Finland.
Goalkeeper Lloris joined the English Premier League club on a four-year contract last Friday for more than £10 million (RM40 million) from Olympique Lyon but may struggle to immediately claim a starting spot with manager Andre Villas-Boas vowing to keep faith with in-form American Brad Friedel.
“I am a professional and I can put all this aside,” an unusually uncommunicative Lloris (picture) told reporters yesterday.
“I’m only and entirely focused on France. I’ve played enough matches in the past to be able to manage this.
“I’ve heard a lot during the preparation (for France). I prepared myself for these qualifiers as well as I could with Olympique Lyon,” he added ahead of their Group I opener against Finland and Tuesday’s qualifier at home to Belarus.
Lloris played the first three games of the season with Ligue 1 club Lyon before signing for Spurs on transfer deadline day.
Villas-Boas, who took over as Tottenham manager in the close season, said Lloris would have to fight to dislodge Friedel, who was superb in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City last weekend.
“When you transfer it’s not written in the contract that you have to play,” the Portuguese coach said.
“At the moment, Brad is doing extremely well. He deserves to be playing and he’ll continue to do so.”
France coach Didier Deschamps said this week he did not have a problem with the situation since Lloris was not eligible to play for Spurs last weekend and so was not second-choice keeper.
“If he becomes a substitute, then we’ll see,” he said. — Reuters