Hugo Lloris says Tottenham need to show stronger mental fortitude as the race for the Premier League top four enters its final week.
Spurs’ 1-0 defeat to West Brom on Saturday allowed Chelsea to close to within two points of their London rivals with a 1-0 win over Liverpool.
The weekend results mean they need five points from their last two Premier League games against Newcastle United and Leicester City to make sure they begin life in their new stadium next season with Champions League football.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won only one of their last five matches in all competitions, though, with three of those ending in defeat, including the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
With their trophy hopes for the season over and the top-four battle still on, Lloris has called on his team-mates not to shy away from the challenge.
“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,” he said.
“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.”