MAURICIO POCHETTINO has launched a passionate defence of “objectively” world-class Hugo Lloris.
The under-fire keeper has copped flak after gaffes in the Champions League this term.
While on Wednesday the World Cup winner was sent off for a rash challenge outside his box in the 2-2 draw at PSV Eindhoven.
Yet his boss Poch said: “Hugo is one of the best keepers in the world and he was man of the match (in the win at West Ham) a few days before we played against PSV.
“Against PSV I think he’s not guilty about the result.
“For me it wasn’t a sending-off, it was only a yellow card, but in the end we drew the game and it put us in a very difficult situation to quality for the next stage of the Champions League.
“But Hugo is an important player for us, he’s our captain and there’s no doubt about him.”
Asked if it was his opinion that Lloris is world class, the Spurs chief replied: “It is not in my opinion, it’s the reality. I’m so objective – he’s one of the best, for sure.
“We have short memories and against West Ham I think the victory, in a big percentage, was because of Hugo because he was unbelievable. The performance was brilliant.”
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Lloris is likely to line up in goal for Spurs against Manchester City on Monday for what will be a huge test of how far Pochettino’s men have come this term.
Tottenham have made their best start to a Premier League campaign despite not hitting top gear and can go above City with three points.
Yet Poch thinks whatever happens City are a cut above his side given their recent success and resources.
The Argentine, who welcomes back Dele Alli from a month-long lay-off with a hamstring problem, added: “Manchester City is on another level, it is difficult to compare us with Manchester City.
“They won the Premier League last season, they showed they were the best, they are in a different level to us.
“We want to achieve and reach this level in a different way. We are fighting to try, to move on and push up and achieve another level.
“In the moment the club settles into the new stadium it will be easy to push the team and the club in a similar level that Manchester City is at.”
Monday’s clash will kick off 28 hours after the NFL game between the Jackson Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Pochettino joked: “Maybe it’s good for us because we’re going to face one of the best teams in Europe or in the world!
“It wasn’t the plan for us to play at Wembley in that period. That is the problem and now we can’t complain.
“We hope that the weather will be good and not kill the pitch and we can play in a very good condition.”