Ryan Mason has suggested that Tottenham’s struggles this season are not down to the lack of quality in the squad but rather due to some players lacking confidence.
On the back of clinching fourth spot towards the end of last season, many would have expected the Lilywhites to kick on this campaign and challenge the top sides.
However, despite strengthening their squad over the last two transfer windows, Spurs have regressed and now look to be embroiled in a fight to qualify for next season’s Europe League.
Mason now has the difficult task of rallying the troops and trying to finish the season strongly and the Tottenham interim head coach insisted that he believes the squad is more than capable of delivering good performances.
He told Football.London: “Honestly, I believe in this group and I believe in these players.
“Last season we finished the season exceptionally well and sometimes in football, it is a deeper thing than just having players.
“It is more about the environment and the mindset or confidence. There are so many factors that can affect results.
“Ultimately I believe in this group and I believe in the individuals as well. That is the most important thing.”
The above statement is certainly a far cry from what we heard from Antonio Conte, who was not shy of having a go at the players publicly, even accusing them of being selfish (Sky Sports).
In fact, it was reported after Conte’s sacking that the Italian’s tendency to shift blame to the players did not sit particularly well with the squad (Daily Mail).
Mason refused to speak about the 53-year-old’s methods but admitted that he has his own ideas regarding the kind of culture he wants to crate at the club.
The 31-year-old added: “First of all I am not going to get drawn into speaking about Antonio and Cristian because I worked with them for a long time and I am grateful for the opportunity I had with them. I learnt a lot from them and their team as well.
“How they managed things was how they managed things. My job and their job is to get results on the football pitch.
“How you set a culture and environment differs from every single individual but I know what I want to do and I am clear with that.
“The players know what I want to do and how I want to approach it so that is the most important thing.”
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The players will hopefully feel a little liberated and express themselves better on the pitch over the coming weeks as Mason is likely to take the handbrakes off.
However, the 31-year-old might proceed with caution for this evening’s game as he would not want to risk leaving the defence exposed, particularly on the back of the drubbing at St James’ Park.
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