'I have my own views' - Ryan Mason will not contact Marcelo Bielsa ally for help as Tottenham head for Leeds United

INTERIM boss Ryan Mason says he will not be in touch with his former boss and one of Marcelo Bielsa's greatest allies ahead of Tottenham's Premier League clash against Leeds United at Elland Road.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 2:28 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 6:22 pm

Mason spent five years under former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino before Pochettino was dismissed in November 2019.

As a player, Pochettino was recruited to first club Newell's Old Boys by Whites head coach Bielsa who later called on the defender for the Argentina national side and the former Spurs boss has regularly hailed Bielsa's influence, citing the 65-year-old as like a father figure in football.

Eighteen months after his dismissal from Spurs, Pochettino is now four months into his job as boss as Paris Saint-Germain and his former employee Mason is now interim manager of Spurs following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.

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CONNECTION: Ryan Mason, second left, and Mauricio Pochettino, third left, share a joke during a Tottenham press conference in Sydney back in May 2015. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

But 29-year-old Mason says he will not be picking up the phone to contact his former manager at Spurs in order to gain any extra insight into Bielsa or Leeds.

"Of course I know Mauricio had, or has, a relationship with Marcelo Bielsa " said Mason at his pre-match press conference and as quoted by football.london.

"It was in his book, he spoke about him, but I learned a lot from Mauricio. Absolutely, absolutely yes. So many things, so many good things on the football pitch and off the football pitch.

"Mauricio has the connection with him and I have the connection with Mauricio of course, but also I believe that I view the game in certain ways that might be different to Mauricio as well so it's important that as a football person you have your own views.

"Yes there will be people that influence you and you take stuff from them but yeah I also have my own views.

"Mauricio is a great man. I still talk to him. He's an incredible guy and we have a great relationship. We can speak about football for days so it's an interesting one."

Asked then if he would be in touch to ask about facing Bielsa, Mason said: "He's the manager at PSG and he's got his own focus, his own goals and they've got a big end to the season they need to focus on and likewise with us.

"We need to focus on our season. We feel prepared, we feel well prepared for this game and hopefully we can go there and put in a performance that warrants three points."

Mason is still only 29 years old and 36 years younger than the much travelled and hugely experienced Bielsa.

"I think as a coach regardless of how old you are you look at other people," said Mason, asked if he looked up to United's head coach.

"You look at what to do and what not to do sometimes.

"In football and life you can't stop learning and trying to take things and implement them in yourself if that's the way you think you should do things.

"He is an experienced man, he has been in football for a long time, he has done fantastic at Leeds last season and this season as well.

"I am my own man, there are so many different ways of working and different beliefs you have to be unique and know yourself and what you believe in otherwise the messages won't come across organically and as real.

"I look at a lot of people but I do have my own beliefs."

Reflecting on how he has been preparing his side to face Bielsa's swashbuckling Whites, Mason said: "They have a very unique way of playing and I'm sure it's exciting for the neutral and for their supporters but we have to focus on ourselves.

"Yes they will pose certain problems and certain situations that will be different to other teams but we can't worry too much about them.

"We're ready, we have an idea of how they are going to play and the problems they might cause but we'll also cause them problems and it's important we focus on that."

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Thank you Laura Collins