Lloris and the kids

Hugo Lloris wore the captains arm band again for our UEFA Europa League tie against AEL Limassol in Cyprus on Thursday, a tie we made hard work of before winning 2-1.

Lloris and the kids

A quick look at the photo above and you start to realise what a young side we had ut. The front row is Andros Townsend (England) 23, Lewis Holtby (Germany) 23, Ben Davies (Wales) 21, Kyle Naughton (England) 25 and the old man at the end unable to get all that way down, Roberto Soldado (Spain) 29.

In the back row Eric Dier (England) 20, Paulinho (Brazil) 26, Hugo Lloris (France) 27, Harry Kane (England) 21, Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria) 19 and Jan Vertonghen (Belgium) 27.

The subs we used were Nacer Chadli (Belgium) 25, Mousa Dembele (Belgium) 27 and Erik Lamela (Argentina) 22.

Four Englishmen, three Belgians, one Welshman, one German, one Spaniard, one Braziian, one Fenchman, one Algerian and one Argentinian, half the players used 23 or less.

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The two players who stood out in the game were Harry Kane and Erik Lamela a 21 year-old and a 22-year-old. Skipper for the night, his first in competition, was Hugo Lloris. He was delighted with the honour and felt the senior players around the squad were important to help the youngsters.

“It’s a mark of confidence from the manager and from my team-mates but maybe it was just the story of the night. There are some important senior players in the team and we have to be an example and show our team-mates the right way. 
“There are some players with experience like Adebayor, Younes, Jan, Daws and I who are here to provide an example for the rest of the team and make sure the spirit is a good one. 
We knew beforehand to expect a difficult game and that was the case on a difficult pitch. To play against an opponent who played very deep meant we didn’t find any space in the first half and then we conceded the goal. 
"We needed the character and the good attitude to come back and win the game. We did the job which was the important thing today.”

Lloris singled out the substitutes for special praise feeling, quite rightly, that they changed the game.

“It’s not only Erik, all the players who came on made a difference today, they were important and they helped the team get the result so we have to congratulate them. We showed the good spirit that there is in the team.”

The start showed you have to be motivated for very game and getting the selection right is not always easy. The objective would have been to win the game while giving some players game time and others their first partial game of what is for them pre-season.

Those objectives were both achieved.

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