AVB stands firm over Lloris

PA Sport
Hugo Lloris, pictured, has come under fire from Didier Deschamps
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Hugo Lloris, pictured, has come under fire from Didier Deschamps

Andre Villas-Boas brushed off Didier Deschamps' latest barb over Hugo Lloris after the Tottenham goalkeeper made his first high-profile error in Thursday night's 3-1 victory over Maribor.

Deschamps renewed his attack on Villas-Boas, claiming Lloris was losing his sharpness after being used in a rotation system with Spurs number one Brad Friedel. The France head coach had twice previously questioned the wisdom of Lloris' decision to swap Lyon, where he was guaranteed first pick, for Tottenham.

When asked how he felt about Deschamps' constant commenting on his goalkeeper, Villas-Boas pointed to his head and said: "It goes in one ear and comes out the other."

Deschamps was quoted in the French media as saying at a press conference: "He does not have enough playing time. He plays one game per week in the Europa League. It is a situation that is cumbersome and not ideal. He is a competitor and he cannot simply play two or three matches."

Lloris' failure to clear a Kyle Naughton backpass allowed Robert Beric to equalise just before half-time in Thursday night's Europa League Group J meeting at White Hart Lane.

Naughton's pass was heavy, leaving Lloris with little time to clear before Beric closed him down, but the France skipper still did not take the opportunity to clear the ball to his side - a move that would have certainly prevented the Slovenians from scoring.

Villas-Boas insisted Lloris still has a chance of making Spurs' team for Sunday's game at Manchester City despite the error.

He said: "Sometimes things like this happen. It happened to us at Chelsea with Petr Cech last year. It's mistakes that make you evolve as a player and I have no problem with that. It could happen to any goalkeeper during any game. It will not affect my decision-making."

Who was to blame for the Maribor strike proved inconsequential in the end as Tottenham ran out comfortable winners thanks to Jermain Defoe's hat-trick. The 30-year-old's triple strike meant he moved ahead of Teddy Sheringham in to eighth place in Tottenham's all-time top goalscorer list.

"That's special on a personal note as Teddy was a player I watched as a kid," Defoe told ITV. "He was a great player for club and country. It was amazing [to score a hat-trick]. As a forward you get judged on scoring goals. It's the best thing in the world but it was important we won the game tonight."

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