Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said goalkeeper Hugo Lloris still has “all my trust and confidence” despite a number of costly errors in recent matches.
The France captain enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign as Spurs rose to the top of the Premier League but has been at fault for a number of goals lately, including two in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by Manchester City.
Mourinho said the 34-year-old remained one of the best goalkeepers in the world, comparing his errors with those of Liverpool’s Alisson Becker.
“For me Alisson is one of the top five best goalkeepers in the world and in the last couple of matches, not at Leipzig, but in the matches before he’s made big mistakes but he’s one of the top five goalkeepers in the world,” the Spurs boss said on Wednesday.
“And Hugo is the same. He’s an amazing, amazing goalkeeper that is performing super-consistently since he recovered from that fracture.”
Mourinho added: “He’s my number one choice and he has all my trust and my confidence.”
Nevertheless, Lloris is still likely to make way when Spurs return to Europa League action against Austrian side Wolfsberg on Thursday, with Joe Hart expected to come into the side.
When Spurs last played in Europe before Christmas they were top of the Premier League, but their form has nose-dived since and three wins from their past 12 league games have made them outsiders to qualify for the top four.
The Europa League could be their best route back into the Champions League but Mourinho has not closed the door to a top-four finish.
“It’s difficult in any case but it’s possible in both cases,” he said. “The fourth position in the Premier League is of course very difficult but is mathematically possible.
“Last season we were in a very, very bad position to try to get into the Europa League spots and in the end we made it in the last minute of the last game but we made it.”
Spurs forward Son Heung-min said the mood in the dressing room remained upbeat despite Tottenham’s slump in form.
Asked whether Portuguese boss Mourinho had ‘lost’ the dressing room, Son replied: “The rumours are just rumours. Our changing room has been fantastic.
“Obviously it depends on the results. I’m very sad if we lose and happy when we win. It’s like everyone else. The mood went down when we had a couple of bad results but the dressing room hasn’t changed.”