Antonio Conte has full confidence in Tottenham reserve goalkeeper Fraser Forster ahead of his league debut for Brentford.
The Tottenham boss confirmed on Friday that Hugo Lloris will only be on the bench for the Boxing Day match after playing in last Sunday’s World Cup final.
France and Tottenham captain Lloris will return to training on Saturday but Conte will give the experienced goalkeeper some extra time before bringing him back to the Premier League.
Therefore, Forster, a summer signing, will make his first league start for Tottenham and his manager knows full well what to expect from the 34-year-old.
“With regard to Fraser, we are talking about a goalkeeper who can be relied upon, a good goalkeeper,” said Conte.
“I remember when I was coach of Juventus he played for Celtic and I liked him a lot during the game (in 2013). We played there in the round of 16 against Celtic.
“We are talking about a really good professional player. He is trustworthy and I can count on him. Yes, he will play against Brentford.”
Tottenham had 12 players in Qatar, but not all of them returned to Hotspur Way, with Joe Rodon on a season-long loan to Rennes and Christian Romero still away after helping Argentina win the World Cup.
Ivan Perisic, who played his part for third-placed Croatia in the Championship, returned to training on Friday and could feature at Brentford.
Conte added: “The players who played the match for last and third place, Perisic, Hugo and Coty (Christian), only Ivan, who returned today and had a training session with us, is available for the match against Brentford.
“Regarding Lloris, we want him to stay with us and we also want him to be on the bench against Brentford. As you know very well, after the World Cup it is also important to give these players some rest.
“About my cutie, he’ll be available for the next game against Aston Villa (on January 1), I hope so.”
The Tottenham boss is dealing with the ambivalent feelings of his players at the World Cup, with Romero fresh after helping his country end a 36-year wait for World Cup success.
Lloris, on the other hand, would be upset at coming close to winning two consecutive World Cups.
Conte suffered from the same feeling in 1994 when he was part of the Italian national team that lost on penalties to Brazil in the World Cup final in America.
“On one side, for sure, you can be disappointed, but on the other, for the second time in a row, France reached the World Cup final. This is a big, big achievement,” said the Italian of his captain Lloris.
“This tournament is really tough and Hugo won the World Cup. For sure, for him it was a great opportunity to win two World Cups and do something extraordinary with your career, but at the same time about Hugo, he also showed in this World Cup that he is a great goalkeeper.
“He’s the captain of France and I think being in the final is a huge achievement. Then, when you play the final, you want to win but everyone who plays at an important level has won and lost finals.”
“If I told you how many finals I lost, we would stay here for an hour! You can win, you can lose, but, I repeat, getting to the final was a huge achievement for France.
“On the one hand, we are a bit disappointed for Hugo but we are also happy for Coty because it was the first time he was crowned World Cup champion.”
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