Tottenham's Hugo Lloris thankful for team-mate Brad Friedel's experience
The Frenchman is now established as first choice keeper, after a tough start at White Hart Lane
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has said he drew on the rival Brad Friedel's extensive Premier League experience when adjusting to life in the UK.
The Frenchman, who joined Spurs from Lyon for £12million last summer, found himself on the bench for his first three months at the club, with Friedel keeping the number one jersey.
He eventually dislodged the American for the north London derby defeat at the Emirates Stadium in November and has kept his place since.
But he still feels the need to ask for help from Friedel, who has 15 years’ experience in the English top flight with Liverpool, Blackburn and Aston Villa.
“We talk about games, we talk about teams we play against and sometimes that’s good for me because I don’t know all the players in the Premier League,” Lloris said. “I knew about Brad before I arrived. He is a very good goalkeeper and a well-respected one.”
Lloris has shown good form recently and could play against former club Lyon in the first leg of their last-32 Europa League tie at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
Even if head coach Andre Villas-Boas rotates his squad and includes Friedel against the French club, it is likely that Lloris would take come in for the second leg at Stade Gerland on February 21.
Lewis Holtby, Tottenham’s most recent signing, is eligible for the tie after he was included in the Europa League squad following his £1.25m move from Schalke in January.
Holtby has settled quickly at Spurs and his home debut on Saturday concluded with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle. To join Spurs immediately, the 22-year-old abandoned Schalke’s Champions League campaign but he is convinced his new club will become regulars in that competition.
“This club are evolving every year, maybe even every month,” said Holtby. “It’s not as though this has come from nowhere because the club have been in the top four or five for the last three years. I’ve made a really big decision in my career but it’s the right one.
“We’re in fourth place at the moment and that’s where we’re aiming to go. The squad, the club are getting bigger all the time and we deserve to go into the Champions League. It’s a hard route but I think we have everything to get there.
“The quality here is fantastic, even among the players who weren’t in the squad for the Newcastle game. The level of the team spirit is very high and that’s why we are able to win tight games like that one.”
Holtby was replaced on Saturday by Emmanuel Adebayor, who is thought to have been fined two weeks’ wages — about £140,000 — for failing to return to the club by Villas-Boas’s deadline of 3pm last Friday. Adebayor’s Togo were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations on February 3.
Villas-Boas must ensure Adebayor is focused fully on the battle to secure Champions League football next season, something Lloris is confident Spurs can achieve. “I believe in the project and it was a good moment for me to join Tottenham,” he told Sky Sports.
“The ambition of the team is to be in the top four every year, and I think we can do it.”
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