Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has revealed he was only convinced to stay at White Hart Lane the moment he met head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Lloris has been one of the Spurs’ star performers this season, but his future was uncertain when Andre Villas-Boas, who signed him from Lyon in 2012, and then Tim Sherwood were sacked.
Off the pitch, Tottenham were in turmoil, and on it they looked well off the pace required to challenge for silverware, let alone qualify for the Champions League.
Lloris was reportedly attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, but the Frenchman said his mind was put to rest after Pochettino was appointed in 2014.
“I had some concern and I questioned myself a bit two years ago, after AVB and Tim Sherwood were in charge,” Lloris said.
“I think the first meeting with Mauricio Pochettino was very clear for me, for my future.
“I think I trusted him since the first second I met him, and because I really understand what he wants, fully agree about his football view.
“I can say we have the same football view and he’s brought a lot to the team and the players.”
Pochettino has transformed Tottenham’s fortunes, leading the club to the Capital One Cup final in his first season and now taking them close to a first league title since 1961.
His impact was not instant. Pochettino had to revamp his squad, selling players he felt unwilling to adapt to his methods and placing faith in youngsters hungry to succeed.
“It’s not only about him,” Lloris said. “It’s about the players, how they take all he gives. It’s only up to the players.
“If they want to improve, individually, if they want to be involved in the team, he will do everything to satisfy them and to change them into top players.
“If the player doesn’t want to go in this way, it’s difficult for the players to improve.
“So I think he’s very fair with all the players in the squad and after it depends, it’s up only to the players. That’s why it’s very positive inside the changing room.”
Tottenham still have work to do if they are to catch Leicester, who sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League, with both sides having four games left to play.
The Foxes go first again this weekend, taking on Swansea at home on Sunday before Pochettino’s men host West Brom on Monday night.
“You know I’m not a dreamer, but of course we want that things turn in our way, but you need to deserve (it),” Lloris said.
“For that, we need to win the last four games and hope that Leicester drop points.
“That’s not easy at the moment to think about that. The only thing we can manage is the next game.”