Mauricio Pochettino backs Pau Lopez to cope with pressure of Tottenham debut

tom collomosse
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Mauricio Pochettino has backed Pau Lopez to shine if he has to make his Tottenham debut against Watford on Saturday.

Spurs’ first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is still recovering from the illness that forced him to miss the 3-1 win at Swansea on Wednesday.

His deputy, Michel Vorm, played in that game but sustained a knee injury that required a scan on Friday.

Pochettino hopes Lloris will be fit but if he is not, he has no doubt about Lopez’s ability to succeed – even though the 22-year-old has yet to make a senior appearance since joining on loan from Espanyol last summer.

“He is ready to compete,” said Pochettino. “We will see tomorrow if Hugo will be involved, and we must wait for the results of Vorm’s scan.

"Pau is ready to play if Hugo is not ready. Why would it be a gamble to play him?

"He has trained with us and played in our Under-23 team. He has played twice recently for the Spain Under-21 team.

"He is very young but we believe in him and trust him. If Lloris and Vorm are not ready, he can cope with the pressure and play."

Lopez has played 48 times for Espanyol after making his first-team debut in December 2014, in a home defeat by Alaves in the Copa del Rey.

Meanwhile, Harry Kane could start against Walter Mazzarri's side after making a lighting recovery from his ankle ligament injury.

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