Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has claimed it "would be difficult to do worse" than his team have done this season, after their hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League ended all too soon.
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Speculation over the future of France national team captain Lloris has been circulating in recent weeks, with his verdict on Tottenham's efforts this season doing little to banish suggestions that he could be a transfer target for Champions League clubs this summer.
"I think all the players in the squad have the ambition to play in the Champions League and it is the ambition of the club as well," Lloris told reporters. "The fans expect this competition, but we are in the Premier League and it is not easy to get a ticket.
"This season we had a good start, but after the defeat against City away we lost a bit of confidence. After that we were in trouble, especially with concentration. We conceded a lot of goals after individual mistakes and you know when you play against top teams it is too difficult to come back in the game.
"When you play a team at the bottom of the league or the second half of the table, you have a chance to come back as we did against West Brom, as we did again against Fulham.
"We have to improve, we know this season that the top-four, top-five teams were better than us so we have to keep working and hope to be better next season."
When asked whether he hoped Tottenham were capable of taking strides forward next season, possibly under the guidance of a new head coach as doubts over the future of current boss Tim Sherwood remain, Lloris offered this withering view of his side's efforts in recent months.
"It will be difficult to do worse, especially against the top four or five teams," he added, as he reflected on a run of heavy losses against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.
"I mean, we conceded a lot of bad defeats. This season we had sometimes the feeling that we gave up. We can't allow this kind of behaviour. We have to show more character.
"We did it in different games but we have to keep our mentality at the best level, because in this league you have to be 100 percent every time you play.
"It's strange because we have a feeling that we can play at a very high level, but we can also play at a very bad level during the same game. It has put us in trouble a lot of times this season."