Hugo Lloris has admitted that Spurs are ‘not in a good position’ ahead of the Premier League’s restart, with Jose Mourinho’s side set to kick-off against fellow top-four chasers, Manchester United.
With just nine games of the suspended season left to play, Tottenham find themselves sitting eighth in the table, with Sheffield United and Wolves both ahead of last season’s Champions League finalists.
Harry Kane has already admitted that Spurs may need win ‘seven or eight’ of their remaining fixtures, the first of which sees Jose Mourinho’s former employers Manchester United head to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium for the first time, the gap between the two sides currently at five points.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side come into the game unbeaten in the last 11, while Spurs were without a win in the last six in all competitions prior to football’s lockdown, and club captain Lloris is perfectly aware of the significance of next Friday’s behind-closed-doors encounter.
“We have to be honest, we are not in a good position at the moment,” Lloris told the Telegraph. “Five points to Manchester United, seven points to Chelsea. We don’t have the right to lose games. Even more when you face a direct opponent like Manchester United.
“We are going to start again with a very important game, maybe a decisive game for the future. Even if behind this game there are eight games to play, this game is going to count in the balance.
“About the title, it’s almost done, but for the fourth place, or the fifth place, there will be a big battle and for the relegation, it will be an even bigger battle. There is a lot to win and to lose in these nine games. It’s the final sprint, you can win or lose everything.”
Spurs could however be thrown a European lifeline from the most unlikely of places, a Swiss courtroom, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport set to deliver their verdict on Man City’s appeal against their ban from continental competition during the first half of next month.
“We don’t know about the decision for Man City, but we just want to finish as high as we possibly can,” Lloris added. “Honestly, to finish strong the season will help us to prepare the next one. Because there is a lot to do, a lot to work on to improve under our new manager and I think it’s the best way to prepare for the future.”
Spurs’ restart preparations were hit by a 2-1 home loss to bottom side Norwich on Friday, though the club have been boosted by the return to fitness of Harry Kane, Steven Bergwijn, and Moussa Sissoko during football’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, though Dele Alli will be ruled out of the opener due to suspension.