Captain Hugo Lloris says Tottenham’s players were unaffected by Danny Rose’s outburst last week – and he feels Sunday’s victory at Newcastle showed the squad’s commitment and focus.
Rose – who has been out of action with a knee problem since January – made waves in midweek when he aired frustrations to a national newspaper, bemoaning Spurs’ wage structure and lack of transfer activity while stressing his desire for well-known signings.
It has since been suggested that the England left-back’s feelings are privately shared by some of his team-mates – especially when it comes to their pay packets – and his comments soured the mood among supporters just before the opening weekend of the Premier League.
But, after Rose apologised on Friday, manager Mauricio Pochettino drew a line under the affair – and Lloris has also played down its significance, underlining the unity in the dressing room.
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“I think it’s important, one thing, because we heard a lot of things – the team is very quiet about that,” said the skipper. “Danny made a mistake, he apologised and we move on. That’s it. But the team was never affected about that because we were so focused on our first Premier League game.
“We know from outside if you start to listen, inside the squad you can be affected, but the most important thing is to stick together, be focused and have the same ambition.
“Danny is part of the team. We understand his frustration. It’s now been six or seven months that he’s been out of the team with an injury. We hope he’s going to be back as soon as possible.
“We stayed calm. We’re still in touch with Danny and there’s no problem. If people from outside want to make trouble, it doesn’t affect us because we are a good squad with a good mind.
“Sometimes you can make mistakes. The thing is you don’t have to repeat this kind of thing, and the most important thing is that the leaders of this team are not affected. We’re moving on and we showed it yesterday – the commitment is great inside the squad.”
Vice-captain Harry Kane echoed his skipper’s sentiments, stating: “It’s been put to one side. Danny said what he said. We’ve all moved on from it.
“From our point of view we’re strong, we’re all Tottenham players, we’re here for a reason and that’s to play for the club. That’s what we’ve got to do – just focus on the pitch. That’s all that matters. It wasn’t really a big thing at the training ground to be honest.
“We’ve been focused on the game and we know that, whatever happens off the field, what’s most important is what happens on the field in front of our fans.
“We had great support [at Newcastle], as we always do. That’s all it comes down to – playing on that pitch and winning those games.”
Having kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle, Tottenham are now preparing to face reigning champions Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
It will be Spurs’ first competitive match of the season at the national arena, which will host all of their home matches this term.
The Lilywhites have a poor record under the arch and lost three of their five matches there in 2016-17, while their draw against Gent was as good as a defeat, ending their European campaign.
However, Spurs beat Juventus 2-0 in Brent in their final pre-season friendy, and Lloris believes they can continue to put their Wembley woes behind them.
“I think it belongs to the past,” he said. “We had a few bad performances in the Champions League – against Monaco, against Bayer Leverkusen – but it was an experience.
“We had some great performances there too, even if the results were not the best, like in the Europa League [against Gent] when we had 10 men against 11 – we dominated the game and the space on this big pitch.
“It was the case against Chelsea when we lost 4-2 in our FA Cup semi-final, and it was the case against Juventus – one of the best teams in Europe.
“Step by step we need to build a real confidence at Wembley, create our own atmosphere with our fans and try to be connected with them.
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“It’s up to us, we are the actors. We’re going to try to put intensity in our performance – in our runs, our passing and our movement – and try to create something at Wembley.
“It will be a big game, a massive game. I think we need to get it in the right way, to start our first official game at Wembley.
“You play against Chelsea, the champions. It’s a great challenge for us and we will try to do our best, challenge this team and get the best result possible.”
The Blues will be without the injured Eden Hazard as well as captain Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas, who were both sent off as Antonio Conte’s side began their title defence with a 3-2 defeat against Burnley on Saturday.
But Lloris said: “They have such talent in their squad, they can miss one or two players. They have the talent to replace them.
“The most important thing is to work well all of the week and be ready for a big fight and for this big game, because it’s a good opportunity already for the second game of the Premier League.”
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