Mauricio Pochettino has praised the commitment shown by captain Hugo Lloris but insists no-one needs convincing to play for his Tottenham side.
Goalkeeper Lloris was appointed skipper at White Hart Lane after a summer that saw him consistently linked with a move away from the club – with Manchester United reportedly keen to sign the France international if David De Gea had moved to Real Madrid.
But he remains a Tottenham player and, ahead of their opening fixture in this season’s Europa League campaign at home to Qarabag, head coach Pochettino hailed Lloris and revealed he never needed to convince the 28-year-old to stay put.
“I don’t think I need to convince anybody,” he said.
“I think that Tottenham is a big club and the players want to play for Tottenham and all players are happy. I don’t know why you still say that Hugo wants to play Champions League because he is very happy. I told you before.
“I think it is important in the way that he showed his commitment here and I am happy with him. Hugo is a very important player for us and he is our captain and he is a personality and commitment is important to show for the team.”
Pochettino’s side reached the round of 32 in last season’s Europa League but it proved to be the starting point for Harry Kane’s meteoric rise through the ranks.
The England international was used almost exclusively in the competition earlier in the season before establishing himself as the club’s first-choice striker and earning an England call-up.
He has yet to score for Spurs this season but could feature in Thursday night’s meeting with Azerbaijan champions Qarabag as Pochettino looks to name a strong side – refuting claims his side may feel the strain later in the year.
“We try to put the best team for every game,” he said.
“We pick the players that we believe that if for win the games and to do good. You know it is always about results and if you take positive results, all is positive and if you take a negative result, all is negative.
“This is football. But I think that it doesn’t affect a competition like the Europe League and the Premier League and at the end of the season if we are tired or not.
“We are ambitious, we expect more from us, from the team, and I think this is our ambition always. And that is not easy to do.”
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