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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Hugo Lloris to remain as Tottenham Hotspur captain, says Mauricio Pochettino

Spurs manager confident French goalkeeper will learn from incident that led to arrest and punishment by UK court

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has taken responsibility after getting into trouble with UK authorities. AFP
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has taken responsibility after getting into trouble with UK authorities. AFP

Hugo Lloris will retain the Tottenham Hotspur captaincy despite being found guilty of drink-driving in a London court this week, Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed.

But the goalkeeper will miss Spurs’ game against Liverpool on Saturday, with Dele Alli also ruled out as Pochettino has suffered a double injury blow.

The Argentine condemned Lloris’ conduct but said that he has been a repentant figure after the 31-year-old player, who was arrested last month, was banned from driving for 20 months and fined £50,000 (Dh240,677).

Pochettino said that “of course” Lloris would remain captain, explaining: “He’s the first that regrets everything. Of course he doesn’t feel great. He said he was guilty of this situation and it’s irresponsible.

"He’s a man. But I think the most important thing is everyone can make a mistake. He made a mistake and he’s suffering all the punishment of society.

“Of course he’s punishing himself. But of course we’re not God, that we can judge people. Only we need to try, that he understands, and how he understands that it was a mistake. Then we’re all men and women and we can all make mistakes. That is a massive lesson for everyone.

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"He’s the first, he told me: ‘Gaffer, it’s a massive lesson for me. I made a mistake and now I need to pay’. Like a man that he is, he’s going to pay and accept everything.”

While midfielder Alli remains sidelined by the hamstring problem he picked up in England’s defeat to Spain, goalkeeper Lloris is out for several weeks with the thigh injury he sustained in Spurs’ 3-0 win over Manchester United.

It means the Frenchman’s deputy Michel Vorm is set for an extended spell in the team and is likely to play in the glamour games against Inter Milan and Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League, while Alli is also expected to miss Tuesday’s tie with the Serie A side.

“I am disappointed,” Pochettino added.

Midfielder Moussa Sissoko will be another absentee for the Wembley meeting with Liverpool but, while Harry Winks could be in contention to start, his manager said the Englishman’s ankle condition is “chronic”.

Spurs ran the risk of leaving their squad for key games when they became the first Premier League club in 15 years not to make a signing in the summer transfer window. Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, one target to evade Pochettino, might have been a stand-in for Alli.

At least Son Heung-min is available again after helping South Korea win the Asian Games, which means he will be excused military service.

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has forgiven Hugo Lloris. Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has forgiven Hugo Lloris. Reuters

“Different clubs didn’t allow him to go and play in this tournament,” Pochettino said, before joking: “Who took the risk? I did. Rather than congratulate him, people need to thank me.”

Son gives Spurs another option in attack, while Pochettino defended Harry Kane, whose form has been criticised in a start to the season when the World Cup Golden Boot winner has seemed to lack sharpness.

“I’m not disappointed with him,” he said. “I’m happy because the circumstances of the summer were so different from another season.”

He denied the forward needs a rest, adding: “We know that it’s not a situation that worries us. We are in a situation that is under control. It’s our fifth season at Tottenham and if someone knows him really well, I think we do.”

Pochettino was less illuminating about talk Toby Alderweireld may get a new contract. The Belgian defender, who was expected to leave this summer, is back in the fold, but his current deal expires in 2020.

“When something happens we are going to communicate the news as soon as possible,” he said.

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