Ryan Mason believes Tottenham have a squad that can mount a top-four challenge next season, after their hopes of a Champions League spot this term took a hit with their defeat to Leeds United.
The former Spurs midfielder, promoted from his coaching role in the academy following last month’s sacking of Jose Mourinho, saw the club’s outside hopes of a Champions League position impacted by their 3-1 Saturday lunchtime defeat at Leeds.
Mason’s side equalised through Heung-Min Son at Elland Road, but that offered brief respite for the north London club, who were overrun by Leeds and ended the weekend having dropped to seventh place in the Premier League table.
When asked if Mourinho’s permanent successor would be inheriting a squad capable of challenging for a top-four finish next season, Mason said: “Absolutely, there’s some great players.
“It’s a big squad. It’s a very good squad as well. There’s definitely tools to work with for next season and I’m sure the chairman and the football club will have a long hard think about the direction the football club wants to go.”
Tottenham won Mason’s first two league games in charge, both at home, but needed Son’s last-minute penalty to defeat Southampton 2-1 before Gareth Bale struck a hat-trick in a 4-0 win against relegated Sheffield United.
In between, Spurs produced a poor display in their Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City and their frailties were exposed again on Saturday against Leeds.
“I came into this game wanting to win, hoping we could win the game,” Mason said, “that hasn’t happened and it’s disappointing.”
With three league games remaining, Tottenham face a battle to end the season in a Europa League spot as they sit a point behind sixth-placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand.
There were calls from Spurs fans, following their side’s latest defeat, for a mass squad overhaul during the summer, but Mason insisted he was concentrating only on the next game, at home to Wolves next Sunday.
“Our focus has to be on next week, the next game and I’m sure those conversations will happen over the summer,” he said.
“I think the bigger picture, discussions like that probably need to happen over the summer. Our focus, my focus, has to be on the next game now.”