Hugo Lloris: Give Nuno Espirito Santo time to make it work at Tottenham

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 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris has called for patience with Nuno Espirito Santo, saying the head coach has not had enough time to change the club.

In an exclusive interview with Standard Sport before the north London derby defeat, Lloris said Spurs’s position would be clearer “in a few months” and suggested the club are “in a process” to be competitive again in the next few seasons.

Spurs slumped to a third straight loss to a London rival on Sunday, going down 3-1 at Arsenal, to leave Nuno under pressure after just six League games in charge.

The Portuguese took responsibility for the result at the Emirates, which followed 3-0 defeats by Crystal Palace and Chelsea and made it Spurs’s worst run in the top-flight since September 2003.

Nuno was recommended by new managing director Fabio Paratici, who assumed control of all football decisions over the summer and oversaw an overhaul of the squad, including the departures of several senior players and five new signings, only one of whom has experience in English football.

Lloris called for unity as Spurs begin a “new era” but admitted the club have taken a backward step to rebuild.

“For any manager, it’s not easy to change everything in one or two months — it’s impossible,” said Lloris on Friday. “But he’s bringing his ideas and, step by step, he’s building his relationship with the players.

“Clearly, we are starting [something new]. The idea is that it’s a new process, a new era, with young players. It can’t happen in just two or three months. We need time. We need confidence, we need to stick together — managers, the coaching staff, medical staff, players — and try to go in the same way.

“This is the important thing, to try to make sure everyone is going in the same way. I think we will have a better view [of where we are] in a few months.

 (IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
(IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

“When I see the club going for young, talented players, they’re here for many years. They need to adapt to new football, the Premier League, new language, new culture, but at the same time, the ambition is still here. Maybe they don’t look at it right now, but maybe [they are looking at it] the next seasons.

“Sometimes it’s better to drop one step to come back stronger. That’s probably my feeling today. It doesn’t mean we’re not ambitious, it’s just a process.

“As a team, you need to build something and then arrive at a certain maturity to compete with the best. At the moment, we’re in a process.”

Lloris, who was critical of the squad’s unity last season when Jose Mourinho was in charge, added: “You need togetherness. It’s really important. The most important is to feel the confidence around you and, to be honest, the players are. I can see it or feel it. We try to deliver our best but there are just some points we need to improve.”

Lloris called for his compatriot Tanguy Ndombele to assume more responsibility in the dressing room and on the pitch, but says he has “no doubt” the maverick France midfielder will come good.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

“Tanguy needs games, games, games, repetition of games,” said the France captain, who was speaking at a coaching session with students from Duke’s Aldridge Academy, a secondary school adjacent to the Spurs stadium, which was organised by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the club’s charitable arm.

“[He needs to] try to feel this responsibility because he’s not a young player any more. And a player with his talent and quality must feel responsibility inside the changing room and the team.

“Honestly, I think he’s ready, his mind is ready. He’s here with a smile, he’s connected with the team and that’s the most important thing. Obviously, it’s the manager’s decision to play him or not play him, but I can feel his energy is back. And, for sure, he’s going to perform. I have no doubt about that.

“With Tanguy, the first season, because of the language, it was sometimes frustrating with him to be not be able to talk with the others. Today, he’s totally open and he can talk and joke and share moments. That’s very important as a player, to feel connected to the team.”

Hugo Lloris on a visit to Duke’s Aldridge Academy (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Hugo Lloris on a visit to Duke’s Aldridge Academy (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Lloris is out of contract next summer and it remains unclear if the 34-year-old will be part of the club’s new chapter beyond the current season.

The World Cup-winning goalkeeper, who joined in 2013, says he is yet to receive an offer from the club but insists he still believes he can win a first trophy with Spurs.

“There’s nothing from the club [about a contract],” Lloris added. “It’s not a problem, I’m totally focused. We’ll see later about [that] but there’s no issue at all. We know each other very well.

“To win a trophy is what I’m working every day for, but who knows? When you look at the club today compared with in the past, the club is in a fantastic place. But also there’s a lot of clubs in the Premier League that are working well and improving every season and it makes the League so competitive.”

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