Hugo Lloris has called for unity and commitment in the Tottenham dressing room as he urged his teammates to seize the opportunity of working under Antonio Conte.
The captain wanted to look ahead and there is little doubt that the arrival of Conte as the manager has energised the club after the damp squib that was the 17-game tenure of Nuno Espírito Santo. Spurs face Vitesse at home in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night and the club remain confident that Conte’s work permit will come through in time for him to take charge. It had not been processed by close of business on Wednesday.
As Lloris spelled out what he wanted to see in terms of attitude – returning time and again to the key themes of players taking responsibility; each and every one of them giving their all in every training session – it was easy to wonder whether he felt the needed standards had slipped of late.
Nuno was sacked on Monday, in the wake of Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Manchester United, a game that saw the Spurs support turn not only on the Portuguese manager but the chairman, Daniel Levy, and some of the players. Nuno’s time at the club was marred by poor results and lacklustre performances and, inevitably, there were disaffected members of the squad.
“As players, we need to demand more from each other,” Lloris said. “We need to show more responsibility for the club and fans. It is time to believe again in ourselves. We want energy from everyone at the club, everyone in the changing room and we want to go together in the right direction.
“There is a new philosophy of work but again we need the commitment of everyone and we need the excitement of everyone. It is a great opportunity to work under one of the greatest managers of the last few years. But when you have the opportunity, you have to take it. You have to give your best. And all together.
“Every training session matters. It’s related to performance at the weekend and we need to be more demanding of each other in every single session. Bring intensity. Bring focus 100% every day.”
Lloris was asked whether the players had to take responsibility for Nuno’s failure. “Of course, we have to share the responsibility,” he said. “When it does not work, it does not belong only to one person or two or three with the staff. It belongs to everyone. Now it is a new chapter and with passion, with emotion, with demands, we need to increase our level individually to help the team to get better.”