Hugo Lloris: Don’t write off rookie Ryan Mason - he’s ready to lead Tottenham out at Wembley

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Dan Kilpatrick
·4-min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris insists Ryan Mason is "ready" to lead out his boyhood club at Wembley and believes the 29-year-old will surprise people with his "real philosophy of football".

Mason has the chance to end Spurs's 13-year wait for a trophy in only his second game as a manager in Sunday's Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City.

The former Spurs midfielder has already lifted the mood at the club after the fractious end to Jose Mourinho's tenure and inspired his players to come from behind to beat Southampton on Wednesday evening with a promising second-half display.

Around 2,000 Spurs supporters will be behind Mason at Wembley, despite growing unrest at the club's ownership following the Super League fiasco.

But Lloris insists his former team-mate is more than simply a cheerleader and says the Premier League's youngest-ever boss is a mature and impressive communicator who has already developed his own approach to the game.

Asked by Standard Sport about Mason's credentials for the job, Lloris said: "You would be surprised. He's ready. He knows exactly what to say to the players. He's got proximity to the players and that's helping him. Then it's about the [team] leaders as well to show their leadership. But he's got a real philosophy of football. It will surprise you.

"Honestly, if the club gives him this responsibility it's because he's got the confidence of people at the club. He's got the club DNA. Then he's got the football approach he tried to bring to the team. I think in the second half [against Southampton] we saw a bit of his way and his approach.

"Everything has happened so quick. We only had two days to prepare for the game against Southampton and now it's a short time to the final. But even with a short time, he gave us a team structure, a shape. He gave us his football approach. He's 29-years-old but he shows more maturity than that. And confidence. He transmits this good energy to the players. I think the players have more responsibility than before and we have to perform better and better to finish as strongly as we can."

PA
PA

Now playing under his fifth Spurs manager, Lloris has previously lost two finals with the club: the 2015 League Cup to Chelsea, in which Mason also played, and the Champions League in 2019.

In between, the France captain won the 2018 World Cup and he has urged his team-mates not to take Sunday's opportunity for granted or finish the occasion with regrets. "The only thing that we know in football is that you never know when the next opportunity to win a trophy will be,” said the 34-year-old goalkeeper. “So, we have to be at our best, work as a team and leave everything on the pitch with pride.

“We know we’re going to face the best team you find in England, but I think we must be exciting, try to live this moment 100 per cent with full energy and motivation and try everything to make it happen.”

Mourinho’s dismissal on Monday has prompted finger-pointing at the Spurs squad, the majority of whom were at the club when Mourinho’s predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino, was sacked in 2019.

By the end of the Portuguese’s reign, some players appeared to have checked out, and Lloris says they must bear the brunt of responsibility for seeing off another manager.

“Yes, of course,” he said. “The situation doesn’t change my respect for Jose. He’s a great football man. He has proved that in the past and, for sure, he will prove it in the future.

“I just feel sad that he didn’t work like we wanted at Spurs. Of course, we have to share the responsibility. The players first, because we are the actors. Then when the club makes the decision, as a player you have to respect it.

“We know the situation we’re in. We have to finish as high as we can and give everything for the club. Today, even more than ever, we have to give all for the club.”

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