Tottenham’s interim boss Ryan Mason admitted the club would be having “a long hard think about the direction” they want to take over the summer.
Former Spurs midfielder Mason, promoted from the academy following last month’s sacking of Jose Mourinho, saw the club’s outside Champions League hopes nose-dive thanks to their 3-1 Saturday lunchtime defeat at Leeds.
Mason’s side carved out a fine equaliser through Son Heung-min at Elland Road, but that offered brief respite for the north London outfit, who were overrun by Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds and ended the weekend having dropped to seventh place in the Premier League table.
When asked if Mourinho’s permanent successor would be inheriting a squad capable of challenging for a top-four finish next season, Mason said: “Absolutely, there’s some great players.
“It’s a big squad. It’s a very good squad as well. There’s definitely tools to work with for next season. I’m sure the chairman and the football club will have a long hard think about the direction the football club wants to go.”
Tottenham won Mason’s first two league games in charge, both at home. But they needed Son’s last-minute penalty to defeat Southampton 2-1 before Gareth Bale struck a hat-trick in a 4-0 win against relegated Sheffield United.
In between, Spurs turned in an insipid display in their Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City. And their frailties were exposed again on Saturday by Leeds’ intensity and work-rate.
Squad cull discussions on agenda
Stuart Dallas gave the hosts an early lead and, after Son’s equaliser, goals from Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo reflected Leeds’ superiority.
“I came into this game wanting to win, hoping we could win the game,” Mason said. “That hasn’t happened and it’s disappointing.”
With three league games remaining, Tottenham face a battle to salvage a Europa League berth from a disappointing campaign. They sit a point behind sixth-placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand.
There were calls from Spurs fans, following their side’s latest defeat, for a mass clear-out during the summer. Mason though insisted he was concentrating only on the next game, at home to Wolves next Sunday.
“Our focus has to be on next week, the next game. I’m sure those conversations will happen over the summer,” he said.
“I think the bigger picture, discussions like that probably need to happen over the summer. Our focus, my focus, has to be on the next game now.”