Time for under-fire Hugo Lloris to make amends for his blunders
Hugo Lloris has endured a mistake-filled season, but the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper knows his costly blunders will be forgotten if he can lead his side to Champions League success against Manchester City.
Lloris will captain Tottenham in the all-English quarter-final, first-leg showdown with City at the north London club's new stadium tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
And the France star will be firmly in the spotlight on what promises to be a busy outing, given City's attacking prowess.
Lloris has been well below his best for much of this term, with his latest clanger coming in the last minute of a damaging 2-1 defeat at Liverpool last weekend when he sparked a Toby Alderweireld own-goal by spilling Mohamed Salah's header.
The 32-year-old has shown alarmingly bad judgment all season.
In Spurs' 2-2 group-stage draw against PSV Eindhoven, Lloris suffered a rush of blood.
He needlessly sprinted outside his penalty area to foul Hirving Lozano, earning a straight red card that inspired the Dutch side to snatch a late equaliser.
Lloris had already been at fault for Barcelona's opening goal in the 4-2 group-stage loss at Wembley, where Tottenham fall behind with barely a minute on the clock.
The France captain was also embarrassed in last year's World Cup final by Croatia's Mario Mandzukic, although that blunder was ignored as his country carried home the trophy.
Despite such a wretched run of form, Lloris has retained the support of Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Reports in recent weeks claim Pochettino has no intention of looking for another goalkeeper at the end of the season, such is his faith in Lloris.
Part of that belief is grounded in Lloris' role as an influential figure in the dressing room.
That leadership earned him the captain's armband and was on show as he issued a rallying cry to his teammates ahead of the City clash.
With Tottenham bidding to reach their first European semi-final since the 1984 Uefa Cup, Lloris knows the team will need the vocal backing of the home support to rattle City.
"At some moments in the game, we feel the power. This can be a help for the team. We will need the crowd for every game," Lloris said.
Eric Dier, Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela remain unavailable, but Fernando Llorente has returned to training after missing the Palace game. - AFP
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