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Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris has credited Mauricio Pochettino with helping to prolong his stay in north London. The club are currently nestled neatly inside the Premier League's top four as they search for a fourth consecutive victory against Everton at Goodison Park on 3 January, evidently benefiting from a welcome period of managerial stability following the brief reigns of André Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.
The stable presence of Lloris behind one of the top-flight's most improved defences has been a vital factor for Tottenham this term, but things could have worked out very differently had rumours of a move away from White Hart Lane come to fruition for the 29-year-old during last summer's transfer window.
With David de Gea seemingly set to fulfil his wish of a move to Real Madrid, long-term suitors Manchester United were again credited with a strong interest in the player. Neither switch eventually came to pass, however, although Lloris concedes that he had questioned his future at Tottenham prior to the arrival of Pochettino.
"I've flourished completely here. I can even say that since the arrival of Pochettino I found new benchmarks," he told French daily newspaper L'Equipe. "My second season here was complicated, I had kept a certain level of performance but collectively there were too many gaps and it had been against the big teams.
"I had not felt a strong club, but rather an unstable one, with a coaching change in the middle of the season, just the opposite of what I like to see in football. I was actually asking myself questions until Pochettino arrived."
Renowned for his tactical flexibility, relentless pressing game and tough training regime in addition to an admirable faith in young homegrown talent, Pochettino has flourished since arriving in English football following his departure from Espanyol. After earning rave plaudits for a hugely productive 18-month spell at Southampton, the Argentine succeeded Sherwood in May 2014.
A fifth-place finish at the end of his first season was little more than satisfactory despite the breakout performances of striker Harry Kane, although the 2015/16 campaign would appear to promise more with Tottenham currently lying seven points adrift of leaders Arsenal in fourth having lost just two of their first 19 league games.
Praising Pochettino's resolve, Lloris added: "Even when it was not working yet, he said: 'Do not worry, we will get there.' His speech was clear, we suddenly knew where we were going. With the quality of the workforce, and work ethic that is in training, there is no reason that we don't progress."