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Ryan Mason convinced Tottenham job will appeal to top managers despite setbacks

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Interim boss Ryan Mason is convinced that Tottenham can still attract a top manager to take over permanently.

Mason is in control until the end of the season after stepping up from the academy to take over from the sacked Jose Mourinho last week.

Spurs have hit difficulties in their pursuit of their next permanent boss, though, missing out on Julian Nagelsmann, Brendan Rodgers and Erik Ten Hag this week.

They were interested in all three men but Nagelsmann agreed to join Bayern, Leicester boss Rodgers has appeared to distance himself from speculation linking him to the job and on Friday Ajax boss Ten Hag signed a new deal at the Dutch club.

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Despite those setbacks, Mason believes the prospect of managing Spurs is still one that will entice the best candidates.

“Listen, this is Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. There’s always going to be people interested,” he said. “We have the best stadium in the world in my opinion.

“And also the best training complex in the world. It’s a fantastic group of players and a fantastic fanbase.

“So of course it’s going to be appealing. It’s a great football club. I’m probably biased because I feel passionately about it. But it’s a big football club as well.

“I think there’s going to be speculation because of the situation we’re in. I don’t want to spend too much energy talking about managers, because at this moment in time I’m the one leading and preparing the team and everyone associated with the club has to be pulling in the right direction these next five games.

“We’re not thinking about the next manager or who’s coming in.”

Mason is not putting himself forward for the job on a permanent basis, though he has impressed people with the way he has acquitted himself through a whirlwind first week that ended in him leading his boyhood club out in the Carabao Cup final.

At 29 there has never been a younger head coach in Premier League history, but he feels comfortable in the role.

“I think it’s easy to say he’s young, he’s unprepared. Yes of course I don’t have the top-flight experience that a 40 or 50-year-old would have but what I do have is 20 years of experience with this football club, I know everyone whether that’s the kitman, the cleaners, the groundsman, I know everyone.

“Everyone knows me. I have personal relationships with everyone in this football club so you can’t underestimate how important that is in an organisation, especially the structure we have in place here and that we want going forward. That’s important. Very important in any walk of life you work in.

“Of course I’m not silly, not naive. I’m 29, I am young but I’m very passionate about football.

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“I believe I know the game and I believe I can communicate as well with the players and with the players there is a respect there which if you don’t have when you’re 40, when you’re 50, you’re not going to be able to communicate and get messages across.

“So there is a respect there and I’m sure that’s going to stay for the next five games.”

Mason has only been a coach for three years, following his forced early retirement from playing due to a fractured skull in 2018, but he believes he has been able to learn from seeing some of the best coaches up close and personal.

“I’ve been very lucky that I had one of, if not the best, coach educators in the world in terms of (former academy head) John McDermott,” Mason added. “I was very lucky to come back and work with him.

“I had the exposure of seeing how Mauricio (Pochettino) and his coaching team worked and also Jose and his coaching team as well, so in my three and half years as a coach I’ve been exposed to more than some people get exposed to in 20, 30 years of coaching so I’ve been very lucky.

“Very fortunate in terms of that and also I’ve been very aware of that so I’ve looked a lot. I’ve listened. Tried to understand why they acted in certain ways at certain times so my three and half years as a coach, I believe is maybe 15, 20 years in other people’s lives.”