Hugo Lloris has insisted he “really cares” about Tottenham and defended his criticism of their Europa League exit.
While some of Spurs’ rivals will be in action in Thursday’s Europa League matches, Lloris’ side will not. They suffered a shock defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Round of 16. It has led to questions about their chances of reaching the Champions League. A failure to do so could have consequences on some of their biggest players.
Lloris is among those to have been linked with an exit. The club captain has just one year left on his contract and there have been rumours he could leave and return to his native France.
For example, the goalkeeper could reunite with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain. That would just be one of a number of options, though.
But in the meantime, the 2018 World Cup winner has reaffirmed his commitment to the cause.
In an interview with Sky Sports in which he looked back on his public condemnation of their “disgraceful” Europa League exit, Lloris said: “It has been nine years.
“If I am still here it is because I really care about the club. Those things affect me as a professional and they affect me as a person.”
Elaborating on his emotional reaction to their elimination from the competition last month, he said: “As a captain, you have a responsibility to go in front of the camera after this big failure in the Europa League.
“It is a competition that we all said was a target for a trophy. To lose against Dinamo Zagreb is something, for me, that you cannot accept.
“It is not a lack of respect. It is just that when you have standards as a club, this ambition to win, and especially to fail in that way, after winning the first leg 2-0, it was just an honest statement on that.
“It was a way to share the responsibility. I am the first one to be guilty. But it is not only me.
“It is the players. It is the manager. It is the coaching staff. It is the club, you know?”
Lloris not giving up
Indeed, questions will be asked in all departments about Tottenham’s slide this season. But Lloris is not sure what would qualify as a success under Jose Mourinho this season.
He said: “Success, I don’t know. It has been a hard season. If you talk to all the players in the changing room and you ask them what they want, they will say it is to win trophies.
“The most difficult thing is to do it, obviously.
“It all depends on how we finish the season. There is a final to win [in the Carabao Cup] and if we win that trophy it will be positive.
“It will not clean the season because a defeat like the one against Zagreb is one that is still hurting. The Europa League was an ambition, a target.
“But there are still a few things to save the season and we have to fight to save them. We will give everything, do as well as we can, and see where we are after the last game. We have a responsibility not to give up and go to the end with big games ahead.
“There is a season to finish and we want to finish it in the best way.”