Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas reacted sternly to suggestions that new signing Hugo Lloris is “frustrated”.
The Spurs boss, questioned in his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s fixture against Manchester United, responded:
“I don’t put any kind of pressure on Hugo to start. He is more than ready to start in the Premier League, but he is up against a player who is doing more than well for us.”
The French international goalkeeper has yet to start domestically for Spurs this season. The deadline day signing transferred to the North London side for £10million but faces competition for the his place between the sticks from American and Premier League veteran Brad Friedel, who, at 41-years-old, has been difficult to dislodge from the No.1 spot.
Lloris was also left out of the 18-man squad that travelled to Carlisle for their midweek Capital One Cup clash. Instead, Villas-Boas opted to bring in Carlo Cudicini and Heurelho Gomes.
His side travel to Old Trafford this Saturday where they have not won against Manchester United since 1989. Villas-Boas reckons his team has the perfect opportunity to change that:
“Going to Old Trafford is obviously a difficult trip but we are confident and we understand that the level of the opponent is extremely high but we don’t run away from our responsibilities.”
The Spurs boss was quick to dismiss claims that the Frenchman is “unhappy” and “frustrated” at White Hart Lane, insisting,
“In the end, what I think is that Hugo’s perspective is he understands he’s competing against someone who is currently the No.1.”
He was asked by a reporter “Andre, can you understand Hugo Lloris’s frustration because you did pay a lot of money for him?” to which he responded:
“How do you know he’s frustrated? You are asking me about Hugo Lloris’ frustration and I am asking you “how do you know he’s frustrated? He is not frustrated”
The manager remained defiant when the reporter continued, “so he’s obviously happy with the situation?”
Villas-Boas replied, “Obviously.”
Well that’s that then.
image: © Vladimir Maiorov