Hugo Lloris questions Tottenham's mental strength after West Ham defeat appears to end title hopes

Spurs had the opportunity to cut Chelsea's lead to one point at the top

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The Independent Football

Hugo Lloris has admitted that Tottenham were not mentality strong enough after their “difficult to accept” defeat to West Ham on Friday night.

Manuel Lanzini’s 65th-minute goal meant that Spurs missed their chance to close the gap to one point, meaning that Chelsea can extend it to seven on Monday night against Middlesbrough.

Spurs looked out of ideas and blunt against West Ham’s well-organised flat back five, meaning Antonio Conte’s men can win the Premier League title with just two more wins.

Lloris rejected the suggestion that fatigue was to blame for the defeat and instead said Spurs were unable to “cope on the pitch” and needed to improve psychologically.

“At this stage of the season, it's the same for every team” Lloris told ESPN. “We're all tired physically, mentally. The difference is mental. You have to cope on the pitch and get the result that you need. We were not capable of doing more.”

“The worst thing was the feeling at 0-0. We said, 'maybe it's enough, maybe we'll get the goal that we needed.' No. That's not the way that you need to think in that kind of context.

“You need to do more, more. To push to your limit. And today unfortunately we were not capable to do that.

“I'm very gutted, in the way we played, especially. It was not enough. It's difficult to accept at this moment of the season – a very important [game] and especially in a derby game.

“We need to ask ourselves the right questions and try to understand what happened today.”

Lanzini fires past Lloris from close-range (Getty)

Tottenham were on a nine-game winning streak going into the game at the London Stadium, a run that had seen them cut Chelsea’s lead from 13 points to four.

“We don't have to forget what we've done until today,” he added. “This team pushed a lot and it demands a lot of energy. But in football, the things don't happen naturally. You need to get it.

“When you have a chance, and the opportunity is there, you need to get it. And today we were not capable of increasing the level collectively.

“Don't forget the context. Chelsea has been the leader for a while, they've been 10, 12 points ahead and we've tried step by step to come closer and closer. But one time an accident can happen.

“We knew before that game and we've known for a few weeks now that we're not allowed to slip. It happened today and unfortunately it cost a lot.”