Ryan Mason says Mauricio Pochettino ‘changed his life’ but plans own Tottenham coaching approach

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Dan Kilpatrick
·3-min read
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 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Tottenham interim head coach Ryan Mason has revealed Mauricio Pochettino changed his life but insists he is his "own man" with his own ideas about management.

Mason was on Tuesday named as Jose Mourinho's successor until the end of the season and offered an antidote to the Portuguese's unhappy tenure by promising "brave and aggressive" football and to re-energise supporters.

The 29-year-old came through the ranks at Spurs and will become the youngest manager and first under-30 to take charge of a Premier League club for Wednesday night’s visit of Southampton.

Mason will also have the opportunity to lead his boyhood club out at Wembley in Sunday's Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City, having been part of Pochettino's side which lost the 2015 final to Mourinho's Chelsea.

Mason says he has learned from both his immediate predecessors but insisted he will stamp his own authority on the team.

"I had the great privilege of playing under [Mauricio], an incredible manager," Mason told Standard Sport. "I had the privilege of seeing the coaching team work under Mauricio.

"But I've also had the privilege of watching Jose and his coaching team work as well. [They're] two of arguably the best managers in world football. I've been very fortunate to see that first hand, to experience that.

"Obviously I'm my own person, I have my own ideas but I'd be very silly if I didn't take things from those two guys because they've done so much in the game and they're very highly thought of in football, and rightly so."

Having joined Spurs as an eight-year-old, Mason did not earn a first-team breakthrough until he was 23 in Pochettino's first season at the club.

He would earn one cap for England before a horrific fractured skull ended his playing career three years ago.

"Mauricio and his staff were a massive influence, not just in football but in life," Mason said. "They opened my eyes to a lot of things – how you see things, how you react, how you live in a certain way.

"He changed my life because he gave me an opportunity to play in the Premier League, to play for this football club in a north London derby at the Emirates.

Ryan Mason has been placed in temporary charge at TottenhamTottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images
Ryan Mason has been placed in temporary charge at TottenhamTottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

"The fact that he trusted me that much said a lot. It took a lot of courage to give somebody that opportunity. He did so much for me from a professional point of view but also a personal one."

Spurs supporters had grown increasing apathetic at Mourinho's conservative football and deflection tactics in the media but Mason hopes to restore the energy to the fanbase, even if the stadium will remain empty on Wednesday night.

"I know what it is like having the fans with you," he said. "I have felt it as a player – that energy is just incredible, it's so powerful.

"Unfortunately, at the moment we don't have any of them in the stadium, but I want a Tottenham team to make our fans proud so they enjoy watching us.

"Football for a lot of people is everything they have in life. To watch their team play, I want them to be proud and I want them to be invested, and I want the players to feel that energy as well.

“I’d hope to think [my side] is what a Tottenham Hotspur side would historically look like,” he added. “I want us to be brave and aggressive, to play like Tottenham Hotspur.”

Spurs will be without talisman Harry Kane, who is sidelined with an ankle injury sustained at Everton on Friday with Mason unsure if the England captain will be fit for Sunday's showpiece against Manchester City.

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