Mauricio Pochettino hailed Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris as “one of the best” goalkeepers in the world after his heroic performance rescued a crucial point for Spurs at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night.
Lloris made a brilliant athletic save from Javier Hernandez early in the second half, as well as plenty of other slightly easier saves, helping Spurs to survive an onslaught from the Bundesliga side at the BayArena. Pochettino was very relieved afterwards and heaped praise on the France captain, saying that he is only more confident in his belief now that Lloris is among the best keepers in the game, and at the very top of his powers.
“After two years here that only I can say good things about Hugo Lloris,” Pochettino said in the post-match press conference. “He is a fantastic goalkeeper and one of the best in the world. He was brilliant again. I don’t change my opinion about him. He is top quality, he is one of the best. He is in the best moment in his career. And it is always important to have a keeper like him.”
While Pochettino said that Spurs should be “pleased” with a “strong point”, he said that his team should be more clinical in front of goal. Spurs missed three good chances in the first half, including a Dele Alli header from a very good position.
Pochettino said that Spurs need to be better at taking chances, but did not want to be too critical in their execution of what he said is the hardest part of the game. “We need to be more clinical in front of goal, Leverkusen the same,” Pochettino said. “In football being clinical is the most difficult thing in football. We have players who can score. True, the chances we created in the last few games, we could have had different results if we were more clinical and maybe more lucky. But I understand it’s difficult.”
Spurs play Bournemouth on Saturday but Pochettino said the game would come too soon for injured pair Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld. “Impossible,” Pochettino said of Kane. “It is one thing is to start to run on the grass. Another thing is to train with the group and be fit to train with the team and compete. The good thing is he is running again on the pitch. Every day we will assess him.”
“For Toby will be difficult, because it is very painful. But the reaction was good. The scan was clear, no problems. But we need to wait because it was a very heavy knock. It will be difficult for the weekend.”