Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris admits it's been a painful experience sitting and watching from the bench at his new club, none more so than in the recent Premier League victory against Manchester United.
The 25-year-old France international captain has been forced to bide his time in north London, thanks largely to the impressive form of current No.1 Brad Friedel, but he did start the last game against Aston Villa last weekend.
Andre Villas-Boas has been unwilling to label Lloris as Spurs' automatic first-choice stopper, even after his big-money move to White Hart Lane which could rise to €15million.
In spite of his current predicament, the former Lyon star insists he is relaxed about taking over as number one, and has no concerns about his long-term status as Tottenham's man between the sticks.
"We have to put things into perspective," he said in an interview with L'Equipe. "I've only spent a month with Spurs, I arrived during the season with a team in place and I have only missed three games.
"Against Manchester United, I wanted to be on the pitch. I have not signed for Tottenham for this role. I think it will happen naturally. I am in the service of the team, I respect everyone, I came to play but there's no guarantee. The coach will make his choice."
Lloris believes the situation has been blown out of proportion by the English media, particularly after the game at Manchester United, where Spurs ended their 23-year wait for a victory at Old Trafford.
Villas-Boas' side held on to take the points with a 3-2 win over Sir Alex Ferguson in a pulsating encounter.
"I talked with the coach, there was no ambiguity. He told me that everyone wanted me to come to Tottenham and England," added Lloris. "Only the manager has control over these things. But I can't control what is written.
"Compared to what is said and what I hear, everything is going very well. There are four high quality goalkeepers here, and the coach makes the decisions. I have just been recruited as part of a future project, but that project starts now.
"Competition exists everywhere, but my relationship with Brad Friedel, with the goalkeeping coach [Tony Parks] and the manager [Andre Villas-Boas] are good."
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