‘I’m ready’: How confident Ryan Mason prepared to take vacant Spurs job as Antonio Conte pressure mounts
Antonio Conte is set to find out his future as Tottenham Hotspur boss on Wednesday evening with Ryan Mason waiting in the wings for a second opportunity.
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The Italian has held the role since November 2021 but slammed both his players and the club's board after drawing against Southampton at the weekend which has led to calls for his dismissal.
While Sky Sports has reported that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been asked by some first-team players to reappoint much-loved ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino, it is first-team coach Ryan Mason who is odds-on to land the job.
The Englishman was once a former midfield star at the club but had his playing career cut short after a clash of heads with Gary Cahill left him requiring intense surgery.
Mason recently came to the forefront whilst Conte underwent surgery and has history in the managerial role having taken the post following Jose Mourinho's dismissal.
Mason became the youngest-ever Premier League manager when he oversaw the side to the end of the season that year, finishing seventh in the league.
The 31-year-old opened up about the last time he was appointed manager to Jake Humphrey on The High Performance Podcast earlier this month, before Antonio Conte's rant.
When asked what he said to Daniel Levy when receiving the call in 2021, Mason said: "I'm ready. If I wasn't, I wouldn't have taken it.
"I would never put myself in the position if I thought it was too much. It's self-belief.
"I think the footballing world probably looked at it and thought what are they doing? I'm around the club a lot and the feeling that I had given them was that they could trust me. They'd gotten rid of one of the most successful managers in the world for many reasons they felt I was the right man to take the final seven games. It was a big moment."
Mason explained that he had put in the hard yards in the club's set-up since his playing career ended, managing youth teams from the under-16s to under-19s.
He continued: "The team weren't in a great place at that point, the confidence was extremely low and they weren't especially fit. I had some easy wins straight away, I had some relationships with the players and they knew what type of professional I was so they respected me and I respected them.
"The reality was, they were judging me. You're judged every day in football. In that moment, what did they need and want to hear? It had to come within and show some sort of passion. The only demand from me was 100% effort, to be all in and to trust me and the team."