Villas-Boas hails quality of Lloris

20 September 2012 07:17

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has hailed the quality of Hugo Lloris ahead of what is expected to be the Frenchman's debut in Thursday night's Europa League clash against Lazio.

Lloris and Villas-Boas have had a rocky start to their relationship at Spurs, with the latter's public show of support for Brad Friedel said to have disappointed the £8million deadline day signing from Lyon. Villas-Boas opted to stick with Friedel for Sunday's victory over Reading, but the 41-year-old is likely to start the Group J clash on the bench.

"The first two days after the international week (and before the Reading game) were more like recovery days for him," Villas-Boas said of the 25-year-old. "The only thing we can say is that his talent is immense and easily visible from the time he has trained with us."

He added: "From then on he was training more with (goalkeeping coach) Tony Parks to get used to his methods, which is very, very important. And obviously he mixed in with what we were doing on the pitch."

Villas-Boas has vowed to take the competition seriously and will therefore name a strong line-up for Thursday night's game, and the likes of Jermain Defoe, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen should all start.

Their opponents have also vowed to stick to their first XI as they go in search of their sixth consecutive win of the season.

Lazio are joint top of Serie A after three impressive wins and they also cruised through their Europa League qualifier against ND Mura.

Lazio head coach Vladimir Petkovic said: "Rotation will come further down the line. At the moment the players aren't tired so I think it's important to keep them playing to continue this series of good performances.

"For now the players who are playing well will continue."

One person who will not be at the game at White Hart Lane will be former Tottenham and Lazio star Paul Gascoigne. The troubled star was invited to the game but turned down the offer for "personal reasons".

Source: PA