LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 21 – Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says the stress of Hugo Lloris’ drink-driving arrest may have contributed to the thigh injury the goalkeeper suffered against Manchester United.
Spurs have suffered three consecutive defeats since the Frenchman was injured — back-to-back Premier League losses and a Champions League reverse at Inter Milan.
Lloris’ injury came in the game after it was announced he had been arrested for drink-driving and he has not featured since he suffered the thigh problem in the 3-0 win at Manchester United on August 27.
The World Cup winner last week received a 20-month driving ban and a £50,000 ($66,000) fine in relation to the incident in central London.
“I think he was under stress during the game against Manchester United,” said Pochettino. “I think… the added stress maybe created that injury.
“The injury now is helping him to take time and think and be a little bit more relaxed. To compete after what happened was a massive stress for him.”
Pochettino has chosen not to reveal whether the 31-year-old France international has been punished by the club, although reports said he was fined two weeks’ wages (around £250,000).
The manager hopes to have his first-choice goalkeeper back soon.
“It is a point that we still do not know,” he said in relation to the timing of Lloris’ comeback.
“We hope as soon as possible but we think the plan is still next week if everything goes to plan in training.”
There are concerns over Harry Kane’s poor form, worn-out players, no summer signings and off-field issues, including delays to the club’s new stadium and Lloris’ drink-driving conviction.
But if they win at Brighton on Saturday all that will be forgotten, according to a relaxed Pochettino, who could have Dele Alli back in contention.
“The only way we can stop that (criticism) is winning games and if we don’t win everyone is going to criticise more than now,” he said.