Hugo Lloris has questioned Tottenham’s mentality ahead of what is sure to be a dramatic push for Champions League qualification.
Fifth placed Chelsea moved within two points of Spurs after beating Liverpool on Sunday – that came after Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost 1-0 at West Brom on Saturday courtesy of a late Jake Livermore goal.
In reality, Tottenham have been below par ever since beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last month, a result that saw them move 10 points clear of the Blues in the race for a top four finish.
But Chelsea have since closed the gap, and Spurs must take at least four points from their remaining two matches to ensure they are playing in the Champions League next season.
And club captain Lloris believes the players must question themselves ahead of the run-in.
“We are in a period of the season where – and it is the same for every team – we don’t have the freshness that we had in September, October and November. It is difficult to play in every game with the same intensity,” said Lloris (via Goal).
“We do need to question ourselves and realise that the next two games are very important for the future of the club and the future of every player in the dressing room.
“I think we need to put into our minds that it is going to be difficult until the end, until the last game, until the last minute against Leicester because we are in the Premier League and we are fighting against Liverpool, against Chelsea for the top four and they are both top clubs. They are used to competing and playing at this level.
“Now, it is all mental. It is not about fitness or physical condition. It is mental and in this [West Brom] game we lacked a bit of aggression in key moments. It’s a bit disappointing because we could have managed the end of the season in a better way.
“It is up to us. But we need to stay confident and keep believing in ourselves. It is not the moment for doubt.”
Tottenham face Newcastle and Leicester in their final two games, both at Wembley. Those are matches the team would usually be expected to win, but there will be added pressure with what’s at stake.
We’ve put together an explainer detailing every possible scenario of the run-in. You can read it here.