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AVB: Lloris must fight Friedel

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03 Sep 2012 07:46:00

AVB: Lloris must fight Friedel

Andre Villas-Boas has warned Hugo Lloris that he will have to battle hard to dislodge Brad Friedel as Tottenham's number one goalkeeper. Tottenham beat a host of Europe's top clubs to land Lloris in a £12million deal on deadline day. The 25-year-old, who has 38 France caps, was expected to oust Friedel as Villas-Boas' first-choice stopper, but the Portuguese admits he will not drop the former Blackburn goalkeeper if he maintains his current form.

The 41-year-old was named man of the match in Tottenham's 1-1 draw against Norwich on Saturday after pulling off three top-class saves to stop the Canaries from running riot at White Hart Lane. And Villas-Boas has told Lloris that he will have to fight hard to overcome some stiff competition in the form of Friedel, Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini. "When you transfer it's not written in the contract that you have to play," Villas-Boas said.

"He has to compete against three good goalkeepers and at the moment Brad is doing extremely well. He deserves to be playing and he'll continue to do so." One of Norwich's top performers on Saturday, Sebastien Bassong, was full of praise for his former team-mate. "Uncle Brad was magic, I've never doubted his quality. He is one of the best in the Premier League," Bassong said. "He's a terrific player and there's going to be a tough competition between him and Hugo.

"They finished fourth last year and (Friedel) played a big part in that." Bassong was unlucky not to claim the man of the match award after he kept Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor quiet for most of the game in north London. "I'm really delighted about my return to White Hart Lane. It was a bit emotional for me," the defender said. "I had a good relationship with the fans here so it was nice of them to give me a good reception. "I'm really happy for them. I owe them a lot and I want to thank them.

"I played a full season in my first year here, and then I was struggling to play. "But that's in my past so I'm looking forward and I'm happy with how it's going at Norwich." The Cameroon international, who was sold by Villas-Boas for £3million last month, revealed he had told the Spurs boss that he would regret letting him go. "When I left I said to him 'you'll buy me back one day'," Bassong said with a smile. "It was a bit of a joke. I've got a good relationship with him so I have a joke with him." Tottenham are likely to launch an appeal against Tom Huddlestone's sending-off for a late sliding tackle on Jonny Howson in the 89th minute.


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