Ryan Mason demands Tottenham players don’t use nickname now he’s interim manager
Ryan Mason has issued one major demand to his Tottenham players since taking interim charge last week – don’t call me gaffer.
The 29-year-old has been appointed Spurs boss until the end of the season following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, which came on the week of their Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
He was unable to provide a new-manager bounce in that final, nevertheless, as Aymeric Laporte’s late header handed City a one-goal victory.
With no European duties to adhere to, Mason has spent the last week working with his squad ahead of their trip to already-relegated Sheffield United on Sunday.
And the former Spurs midfielder says one of his first demands was for the players to keep their relationship with him informal.
“One of the first things I said to them was that I do not expect to be called 'gaffer' or 'boss’,” he said.
"Call me what you have been calling me for the last five or ten years — or however long I have known you.
“The most important thing for me is respect. You can call me what you want but if you don’t respect me then it is not good. The respect is there from everyone.
“Not just the players but the groundsman, the kitmen, everyone. I have a good relationship with everyone.”
Spurs have missed out on their top three targets for the full-time job, with Erik Ten Hag’s contract renewal at Ajax coming after Julian Nagelsmann sealed a move to Bayern Munich and Brendan Rodgers ruled himself out.
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When asked about the club’s search for Mourinho’s replacement, Mason said: “I’ve not heard anything. I’ve shut myself off from it. But this is Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. There’s always going to be people interested.
“We’ve the best stadium and training complex in the world. It’s a fantastic group of players and a fantastic fan base.
“It’s a great club. I’m probably biased because I feel passionately about it. But it’s a big football club as well.
“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.
“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.”
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