Hugo Lloris believes “something big is waiting” for Tottenham Hotspur as the club seek to guarantee Champions League football at the redeveloped White Hart Lane when they return home next season.
Spurs’ first win at Chelsea since 1990 on Sunday moved Mauricio Pochettino’s side eight points clear of their fifth-placed opponents with seven games to play – they are four points off second – with Tottenham, unbeaten domestically since mid-December, having won 10 of their past 13 top-flight matches.
If doubts had surfaced outside the club as to whether Tottenham could thrive while playing home games at Wembley, they were not shared by those within the set-up.
“We were always quite honest with ourselves and we knew we have a lot of quality like the other top teams in the league,” Lloris said. “This is the most competitive league in the world and there are a lot of great teams but we’ve reduced the gap to them.
“Now we are ready to compete against them and we must maintain that, because Tottenham have to stay at this level at least. Obviously, with the new stadium, something big is waiting for us and we cannot see this future without the Champions League. So winning at Chelsea was a good answer, a collective answer, and we will keep working hard with the manager we have got. He will be behind us.”
The victory on Sunday was achieved courtesy of two goals from Dele Alli, with the midfielder reminding the world of his qualities after a difficult 10 days with England. His involvement had been limited to a 22-minute cameo in the Netherlands, with Jesse Lingard and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain having staked claims to be first choice.
“The best answer he could give was on the field on Sunday,” Lloris said. “He is still young but has a big personality. To react in that way is fantastic. It is not easy for him, or for people like Paul Pogba with France, because you need to give time to them to get to the right age, to mature. There is a lot of expectation but he stays calm and good in his mind. He came back to training from the national team with a big willingness to show his quality.”