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Time on bench makes Lloris stronger

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris says the ‘mental strength’ he gained from a spell on the sidelines may help him in the long run.

The France international made the 12-million pound switch from Lyon on transfer deadline day but played second fiddle to Brad Friedel.

But Lloris believes the unexpected spell on the bench has made him stronger.

“You need mental strength when you are involved in high-level sport,” he told The Times. “These are situations you have to cope with. You have to keep positive.

“It’s true that I didn’t play in the Premier League, but I was playing in the Europa League so I had to focus on that and on doing my job.

“I had to be patient, but I wanted to play and to claim the goalkeeping position as mine.

“But the manager (Andre Villas-Boas) makes his own decisions, even though it wasn’t really what I expected.

“But it is part of an experience. The important thing was to come out the other side feeling stronger.”

Despite conceding five against bitter rivals Arsenal in the north London derby, as well as making errors against Norwich and Maribor in the League Cup and Europa League, Lloris is working hard to eradicate self-doubt and has let just three goals past him in the past five league games.

“When you are on the pitch, you give everything you have to give and try to make as few mistakes as possible,” Lloris said. “But when the situation is not very clear, doubts may well begin to creep in.

“That is something you have to avoid. You have to focus on your own game. The best way to help the team is to concentrate on your own work.”

The Europa League draw on Thursday saw Tottenham paired with Lloris’ former side Lyon and, speaking before the draw, the Frenchman explained his decision to leave the Ligue 1 club.

“There are certain characteristics, such as crosses, high balls, duels on the pitch and fighting spirit which are part of English football. Here it is faster, with higher intensit
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y,” Lloris said.

“I needed to move on to the next stage in my career. Coming to Tottenham was a great opportunity for me. During my time at Lyon I developed as a man and a sportsman into what I am today.”

Fri 21 December, 2012
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