Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris admits he was wrong to insist on playing on after suffering a concussion last season and applauded new measures which take the decision to out of the hands of players and coaches.
The Frenchman was concussed in a collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku at Goodison Park but soon returned to the field against the advice of medical staff.
Lloris was deemed unfit to play the following week against Newcastle and then manager Andre Villas-Boas was heavily criticised for not protecting his player.
That high-profile incident proved a catalyst for change and prompted the Premier League to give medical staff the final say on matters involving concussions this season.
The France international concedes that a player’s competitive spirit may lead him or her to make decisions which are to the detriment of their long-term health and accepts the changes are necessary in order to protect players.
“It is definitely a good thing,” Lloris said in several papers. “We don’t have to play with our health and someone in the profession had the good sense to find something better.
“I was a subject of that and so it is easier for me to understand the decision. I realise now that I had taken a risk with my health. It will not happen again.
“When you are on the pitch you don’t want to leave the pitch, you want to stay with your team-mates and help them get the best result.
“Now the rules are very clear and it will be better for everyone.”
Concussions aside, Lloris has been a huge success at White Hart Lane since joining from Lyon in 2012 and the club were delighted to be able to tie the 27-year-old to a new five-year contract this summer.
He is very pleased with the direction the club are heading in and hopes Spurs can find stability under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
“The decision was made before the World Cup,” said Lloris, who faces QPR today. “I had some good chats with the chairman about the ambition and future of the club.
“The conditions were good for me. We found an agreement and I’m happy for that. It was about ambition, definitely, not money.
“I am a competitor and I know that in the Premier League it is difficult to get trophies because there are a lot of top teams, but I know Tottenham has ambition to grow and improve year on year.
“I think everything is done for players to improve at Tottenham.
“We need maybe some stability after two years with two managers and we have to work together, keep a good spirit in the changing room and get some great performances, because last season we know that we did not do enough against the top teams in the League.”
Pochettino made a winning start in his first Premier League game with his team overcoming a first-half red card for Kyle Naughton to grind out a 1-0 against West Ham at Upton Park last weekend.
Lloris is a fan of his new coach’s playing philosophy and believes his past experience – which includes a distinguished playing career that saw him play for PSG and Bordeaux and earn 20 caps for Argentina – makes Pochettino the ideal candidate to help Tottenham realise their ambitions.
“He (Pochettino) has a good CV as a manager and as a player he was an international with Argentina,” said Lloris.
“I know him because he played in France and he has a good philosophy about football. Somehow we have to work together and go in the same way, keep our ambition high and try to improve.”