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Antonio Conte says Hugo Lloris ‘loves Tottenham and Tottenham loves him’

Hugo Lloris File Photo
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Antonio Conte insisted Hugo Lloris “loves Tottenham and Tottenham loves him” following the club’s hard-fought 1-0 victory at Watford on New Year’s Day.

Davinson Sanchez’s last-gasp winner ensured Spurs left with all three points, but they had looked set to be frustrated again as they struggled to make the breakthrough against the Hornets despite dominating possession and having a number of chances at Vicarage Road.

The match was deep into almost 10 minutes of added time, following a late stoppage due to a medical emergency in the crowd, when Sanchez headed Son Heung-min’s free-kick past Daniel Bachmann to earn Conte’s men all three points.

Lloris was an isolated figure for much of the game but had to be alert to make a smart save to deny Joshua King in the second half, earning his manager’s praise.

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Conte said: “You can see the level of the keeper in these circumstances, when for the whole game he didn’t make a save but he continued to be focused with the team, for me it is very important because when I speak with the team, the link and connection with the keeper and the team is very important.

“It is important especially when you defend high with the defensive line, the keeper has to follow the game and not only to stay on the line, on the goal to make saves.”

France goalkeeper Lloris’ contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he can talk to foreign clubs about a free transfer in the summer, but the Spurs manager wants a deal to be struck.

“Hugo today showed that he is at the top and he is always focused and for us he is very important and I am sure that in the short time they can find a solution in the club because he loves Tottenham and Tottenham loves him,” Conte added.

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Watford’s Juraj Kucka believes the club are on the right track despite losing their last six matches and still being without a clean sheet in the Premier League this season.

“It’s always very bad when you concede a goal in the last second like now, and for us especially because every point matters,” the midfielder told the club website.

“We have to try to pick up every single point in every game and fight until the end.

“We’re sorry for the result. We played very well and showed some sense of togetherness. It’s a shame about the final result but I think we’re on the right track.”

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