Hugo Lloris: Tottenham did not recover from Champions League final defeat
Lloris believes return of four injured players - including Harry Kane - can make "a big difference" for rest of season
Last Updated: 13/06/20 8:24am
Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris says their struggles this season stem from their inability to recover from losing the Champions League final to Liverpool.
Spurs' remarkable European run last season took them to their first Champions League final, but they were beaten 2-0 in Madrid.
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Less than six months later, Mauricio Pochettino, the man behind their success over the previous five-and-a-half years, was sacked, with Spurs 14th in the Premier League.
New manager Jose Mourinho has guided them to eighth in the Premier League, but they were on a run of six matches without a win before football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Spurs were also knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of just six days in March, and Lloris says their regression should not come as a huge surprise.
He said: "There is a risk when you go over your potential. Last season, we went on an incredible run in the Champions League and we finished the season on our knees. You don't have time to recover from one season before you have to start a new one.
"And then there was the accumulation of things that provoked the situation and then a lot of injured players, the change of manager. It's difficult to stay stable and to be always looking at the top.
"There is sometimes one season when everything goes against you. Maybe the consequence when you play four years making a huge effort to compete with the top teams and finish in the top four [every season], it's a lot of accumulation and one season there is everything you cannot control. It can happen."
Lloris: Fit-again team-mates can make difference
Tottenham's poor form before football's shutdown could, at least in part, be explained by long-term injuries suffered by Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Steven Bergwijn and Moussa Sissoko.
The quartet were expected to miss most of what was left of the season, but, with the Premier League only set to return from its suspension next week, they are now expected to play a key role, as Spurs bid to close the seven-point gap on fourth-placed Chelsea.
Lloris said: "We are more or less all fit and this is a big difference. We've been quite unlucky in terms of injured players. It affected us a lot. So it's like a new season that is going to start.
"The feeling is getting there. It is only a question of time, a question of confidence too, because the only way to get better is to win games and keep winning. This is the only feeling that will help the team to improve and to reach the level we all expect."
Harry Kane was among four players who returned to the Tottenham side for a friendly against Norwich - but they lost 2-1 to the Premier League's bottom club.
Kane was injured when the season was suspended due to coronavirus as well as Sissoko, Son and Bergwijn - but they all played in the defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
In a game divided into four quarters of 30 minutes, Erik Lamela took the lead for Tottenham with a diving header, having been set up by Bergwijn. Kane also hit the crossbar early on and Serge Aurier had a chance.
Dele Alli - suspended for the United game due to his coronavirus social media post - came on with several others at half-time but Norwich struck twice late on through Josip Drmic and Mario Vrancic to boost their momentum as they look to avoid relegation in the run-in.
64 live games on Sky Sports from restart date of June 17
25 games to be made freely available
New Sky Sports digital innovations also planned to enhance fan experience
The Premier League 2019/20 season will restart on Wednesday, June 17 and Sky, the UK's leading football broadcaster, will make 25 games available 'free to air' - including Everton vs Liverpool on the first full weekend back - for everyone in the UK to enjoy.
Sky Sports will show 64 live Premier League games when the season resumes. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches will be available on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky's free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.
To celebrate the return of the Premier League, Sky Sports will also launch a host of innovative new features and updates to give fans an even more immersive experience and share the moments live with family and friends on virtual platforms.