Ryan Mason has promised Tottenham’s players will stick together until the end of the season after staging an impressive second-half comeback to draw with Manchester United.
Spurs were coming off a 6-1 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday and looked to be in trouble again as Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford gave United a 2-0 half-time lead.
But Mason rallied his players at the break and they struck back strongly in the second half, with goals from Pedro Porro and Son Heung-min saving the score and reminding the home fans of their team’s resilience after the debacle on Tyneside.
That result led to Daniel Levy’s sacking of interim manager Cristian Stellini, and the Tottenham chairman was the target of anger from Spurs fans in the first half, when it looked like their side would be overwhelmed.
Mason, who was sidelined until the end of the season as Levy looks for a permanent successor to Antonio Conte, said he was proud of his players for their struggle and the way they went to United with Newcastle’s result fresh in their games. minds.
“After Sunday it was tough because the way we lost wasn’t nice for anyone to get involved with,” said Mason. “But the most important thing now until the end of the season will always be to stick together as a team.
“Football: small details can change matches, change results, but in the end the most important thing is to be together. And to all – the fans, the outside world looking in, will see a solid and united team. And when you are, you have a shot at success.
“(We have) great character, great personalities, we stuck together, we kept believing and we acted as a team throughout the game. This pleases me after what happened over the weekend because we probably didn’t have it as a group.
“And after how the first half went in terms of scoring, coming out at half time and sticking together, fighting for each other and really engaging our fans, I thought they helped us massively, and it’s refreshing. .
“He shows me a lot what I already thought about this group, but seeing him on the pitch is a good feeling.”
While admirable, the result did little to revive Spurs’ rapidly dwindling hopes of catching United in the race for Champions League qualification.
The gap to Erik ten Hag’s side in fourth place is six points with Tottenham playing two games more.
Mason was asked if at 2-2 he was tempted to chase victory which would go some way to faltering United and setting the fight in the top four to life.
“We put so much energy into getting that 2-2 score,” he said. “It almost felt like we were acting a little emotional to try and get that third, and sometimes that’s great, but at the same time I felt like there were a couple of moments where we seemed a little leggy, a little opened unnecessarily.
“So we changed it a bit: still try to win the game but at the same time recognize the game and the moment we were in.
“I felt that once we got the second goal, the lads had put so much energy into it that we went down a bit and they took over the game a bit without really creating anything.
“Going out 2-2 after going 2-0 down at half-time is good.”
Ten Hag reflected on a match where, after a solid first half in which Spurs dominated and were clinical with their chances, control of the match finally slipped away from them once they lost control of the ball after ‘interval.
“After the break, there was a difference,” said Ten Hag. “We have lost control. We weren’t safe. Then you have to enter the fight.
“When you lose your battles, you don’t block crosses, when you don’t shoot wide, you don’t block shots, you concede goals and that’s what happened.
“Finally you have to be satisfied and take that point.”