TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR will bid an emotional farewell to their home of the last 118 years on Sunday when they play their final match at White Hart Lane.
Spurs are moving to a new ground on land adjacent to their current home in time for the start of the 2018-19 campaign and will spend next season playing at Wembley Stadium to enable the building work to be completed.
But the side will take to the field at the Lane for one last time this weekend when Manchester United provide the opposition for the special occasion.
However, Spurs’ faint hopes of winning the Premier League title could be over by the time the match gets under way as Chelsea will be crowned champions if they pick up maximum points at West Bromwich Albion on Friday night.
Having been the only side to mount any sort of challenge to Chelsea in the league this season, Tottenham saw their nine-match winning streak in the league come to a tame end on Friday when they were beaten 1-0 at West Ham United – never really looking like getting back on level terms once Manuel Lanzini had given the hosts the lead midway through the second half.
And, following on from their defeat against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final last month, skipper Hugo Lloris admitted that he could understand why people whether Spurs are able to raise their game in a high-pressure situations.
“We can all feel gutted,” the France goalkeeper said. “I’m not really pleased with the way we played this game.
“We didn’t have the right energy, especially because of the context – it was a derby and it was a very important game in the title race. At 0-0 everything was possible, but it wasn’t enough from us.
“We should have increased our level collectively, but we didn’t do it. The right question to ask ourselves is are we capable of increasing our level, especially in the moment under pressure in a big game.
“It’s very frustrating because we made a lot of effort to arrive at this point, and we don’t have to forget everything we’ve done, especially in the way we played football because it was so excellent and that’s why it’s even more frustrating. I didn’t recognise the Tottenham face, so it hurts even more.”
Last season saw Spurs endure an alarming slump of form in the closing matches of the campaign which saw them ultimately miss out on a second-placed finish, and the versatile Eric Dier is determined to ensure that the same thing does not happen this time around – urging the side to respond positively to their setback.
“Our aim was to win every game until the end of the season,” he said. “That’s gone now, but we’ll be ready to go again.
“Nothing changes. We will try to finish strongly and, after the way we finished last season, we want to put that right this season. We need to bounce back and finish the season strongly.
“We approached the game well. We just lacked a bit of intensity and decisiveness at times, and we didn’t create enough chances for the possession we had.”