Tottenham’s interim head coach Ryan Mason has admitted the club are “four or five years” behind Manchester City as Spurs’ Carabao Cup final defeat by Pep Guardiola’s dominant side on Sunday ensured their 13-year trophy drought would go on.
Aymeric Laporte headed a later winner at Wembley as City lifted the trophy for the fourth straight season, beating Mason’s side 1-0 in what was just the 29-year-old’s second game in charge since Jose Mourinho was sacked last week.
City were far the better team and could have had the game won twice over before half-time had they converted a few of the many chances they created at will against a poor Tottenham side who managed only two goal attempts to their opponents’ 21.
“I think City are probably four or five years ahead of us,” said former Spurs midfielder Mason, who has taken over for the rest of the season after Mourinho was sacked last Monday.
“In terms of they have had a manager for such a long time and they have worked a certain way for such a long time.
“Going forward, my idea and I am sure everyone’s idea at Tottenham is to be brave and try to dominate games like they do. It is a process. It takes time.”
Mason, 29, is a managerial rookie having been promoted from the London club’s youth development department.
It is extremely unlikely that he will be handed the responsibility of reviving the fortunes of a club that finished eight points above City in second place in the Premier League in 2016/17 – Guardiola’s first season at City.
But Mason said the priority now was trying to make sure Tottenham qualify for Europe next season.
They are seventh in the Premier League with five games left – five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who are in the Champions League qualifying spots.
“I think leading up to this game, our mind and our focus was on today,” Mason said.
“Now we have to get over this and we have to accept it. We’ve got a massive week. A really big game next weekend [at home to Sheffield United].
“Every Premier League game we’re going to play in is going to be a big game.”
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