Mason insists he is not worried about Arsenal as Spurs aim for strong finish

Ryan Mason insists Spurs are looking up instead of over their shoulders at Arsenal.

Tottenham’s interim boss was responding to Mikel Arteta’s revelation earlier this week that finishing below their north London rivals for a fifth season in a row remains a huge incentive for the Gunners.

“I’m sure it is for them,” said Mason whose men host Wolves on Sunday.

“I know the importance when you represent this football club of finishing above them,” he added. “Of course I’m a Tottenham man. I know that.

“We can’t think about that. We have to think about winning our games and the priority for us is this weekend. Of course I know what it means to the fans to finish above them.”

Ryan Mason has insisted he is not focusing on finishing above Arsenal

For all their problems this season Spurs sit seventh in the table, two places and one point above Arsenal. Mason will return to his previous position as Head of Development once a long-term successor to Jose Mourinho is chosen at the end of the season.

But he is determined to ensure the new man inherits a club playing European football next season.

Mason added: “Of course we want to be in the European competitions. At this football club that’s what we strive for, of course.

“Since I’ve been here as a player, over the past 10 to 15 years, the chairman has done an incredible job in taking the football club to the next level and the fact that we’re sitting here now saying we expect Champions League, that’s what we want and expect, I think that shows that the expectations within the club and outside [is that] you want to be playing in the biggest games. Unfortunately this season hasn’t gone as planned at times.”

Looking ahead to next season, Mason believes rising star Oliver Skipp should remain in the first team after playing an important role helping Norwich to achieve promotion.

The 20-year-old midfielder is wanted on a permanent basis by the Canaries but Mason believes there could yet be a role for Skipp at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Oliver Skipp impressed on loan at Norwich this season
Oliver Skipp impressed on loan at Norwich this season

He said: “My opinion may be different to many but I think Oliver Skipp is an incredible talent and one of the most professional guys I have come across in the academy.

“He has had a fantastic season so I’m sure those conversations will be had over the summer.

“I think Skipp is ready personally, but with these decisions it depends who the manager is and where the club want to go with him.

“Our track record at Tottenham is excellent. I had a lot of loans, Harry had a lot of loans, Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker, we all went on to play for England and represent Tottenham in the Premier League.”

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