Brad Friedel eager for friendly rivalry with Hugo Lloris to continue at Tottenham

 

Tottenham veteran Brad Friedel expects his amicable rivalry with Hugo Lloris to continue until the end of the season.

Friedel and Lloris have been dueling for the goalkeeping duties at White Hart Lane since the France captain's arrival on transfer deadline day.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas has alternated the pair for the last three Barclays Premier League matches with Friedel starting Saturday's 4-2 defeat by Chelsea.

The 41-year-old suspects his strong form has convinced Villas-Boas that both keepers are worthy of selection.

"It was always in his (Villas-Boas') plans to play me against Chelsea and I knew from the point he benched me against Aston Villa," Friedel told sportsillustrated.com.

"The media wanted to make out that it was this big fight between Hugo and myself and the manager, but there was never a big fight.

"The fact is Tottenham have been looking for the last year and a half for a long-term number one goalkeeper.

"I don't think they envisioned what my fitness levels would be at this age and I sort of surprised myself.

"So we have a competition now. It's healthy, but there's a competition. It's friendly.

"It's going to be a situation where Andre will choose a team that he feels will win the game on the day and that's how it'll be from now until the end of the season.

"I don't think anyone will be 'guaranteed' starts, if you like."

Friedel's record of 310 successive Premier League starts ended earlier this month, but the former USA international refuses to mourn its conclusion.

"When I ended last season and played all the games, I went into the summer sort of half-expecting this year would be when the run would end at some stage," he said.

"You never know when it will end. But 310 consecutive games, can I complain? No.

"I never put myself out on the field in a game just to make that number, and I don't think any manager put me out there because of the number.

"It's an achievement that I'm proud of, not just because of the number but ultimately because I've kept my form up for this long."

PA

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