It’s a glovely feel­ing for Lloris to win his Brad fight

Midweek Sport - - SPORTS - By JIMMY POL­LOCK

HUGO LLORIS says his bat­tle to claim the No.1 jersey at Tot­ten­ham has made him stronger.

The France goal­keeper had his nose put out of joint af­ter mak­ing the move from Lyon to Eng­land when Spurs boss An­dre Vil­las-Boas kept faith with Brad Friedel, con­trary to his ex­pec­ta­tions.

Now es­tab­lished as the first-choice keeper at White Hart Lane, Lloris reck­ons the ex­pe­ri­ence of chal­leng­ing Friedel for the po­si­tion has given him even more self-be­lief.

“Things were very clear, that I was coming to Tot­ten­ham as the No.1,” said Lloris.

“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 chair­man, 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.”

Threat

Spurs are the fourth-best team in the Pre­mier League, but Lloris be­lieves they are clos­ing in on the two Manch­ester clubs and Chelsea.

The 26-year-old is part of AVB’s Cham­pi­ons League-chas­ing squad and he be­lieves Spurs are go­ing in the right di­rec­tion to clinch a top-four fin­ish. “To­day there’s United, City and Chelsea who are a cut above and who have more fi­nan­cial means,” said Lloris.

“But Tot­ten­ham is just be­hind. The club has been try­ing to es­tab­lish it­self in the top four for some years now.”

The ta­ble cer­tainly sug­gests Spurs are close to their Lon­don ri­vals Chelsea, with just one point sep­a­rat­ing the two clubs.

Lloris has been pleased with the start to the sea­son but is also wary of the threat from other teams out­side the top four.

He added: “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 are well-placed, though we’re not be­yond a pos­si­ble charge by Ar­se­nal.”

I AM THE ONE: Lloris has taken the keeper’s

jersey off Brad Friedel

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