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Lloris receives Pochettino support, Alli back in training


London (AFP) – Under-fire French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris received the unqualified support of Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino on Friday stating he is “our captain, and no doubt our keeper”.

Pochettino issued his vote of confidence in the 31-year-old France captain after he attracted another bout of criticism for his red card in Wednesday’s Champions League 202 draw with PSV Eindhoven.

Lloris — who faces a tough examination of his confidence on Monday when Spurs host champions Manchester City — has endured a tough time on and off the pitch since captaining France to World Cup glory in July.

He received a 20 month driving ban for drink driving in September and has cost his side dearly in successive Champions League matches against Barcelona — a dreadful error gifting them a goal — and then the sending-off which PSV took advantage of by scoring a late equaliser.

“He is (feeling) very good,” said Pochettino at his Friday press conference.

“Of course he is disappointed like all of the team because we deserve more.

“He is disappointed like we all are.

“Sometimes this can happen, this type of action, for me it was not a red card.

“Hugo is an important player for us, our captain and no doubt our keeper.”

Pochettino, who has all but conceded Spurs hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages were over following the PSV draw, had some good news on the injury front in that England midfielder Dele Alli is back in training.

However, Pochettino was not certain the 22-year-old would be pushed straight back into the squad after missing the last three games due to a hamstring injury.

“It is good news but we need to careful,” said the 46-year-old Argentinian, who revealed defensive duo Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen are still unavailable with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.  

“We are happy. He started today (training) with the group.

“We hope he will be available for Monday but I am not sure whether he will be put in the squad or not.”

Pochettino, whose side are fifth just two points off the top two Manchester City and Liverpool, said he hoped the pitch would bear up given that on Sunday there is an NFL match between the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars.

At the time of the scheduling, though, Spurs were expected to have been based at their new state of the art ground.

“Maybe it is good for us to face one of the best teams in Europe, maybe it will help us,” he joked.

“It wasn’t a plan for us to play in this period at Wembley.

“That is the problem. We have to accept the reality.

“We cannot change that and have to hope the weather will be good and will not kill the pitch.

“All of the people involved in the pitch will work so hard to put it in a good condition.”

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