LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur interim head coach Ryan Mason said on Tuesday that he wanted the players to be brave and aggressive as he prepared to take charge after a "crazy" 24 hours following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
The 29-year-old former Spurs midfielder has been elevated from his role in the club's youth development department to first team coach and the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday will be his second game in charge.
He will first be in the technical area for Tottenham's home Premier League clash against Southampton on Wednesday.
Mason, who retired in 2018 because of a head injury, will become the first manager to take charge of an English club in a major domestic final as early as his second game in charge since Luton Town's Syd Owen in the 1959 FA Cup final.
"It's crazy. It's football. I've had it as a player. Obviously I've had the experience of having to retire in this game. Anything can happen and you just have to be prepared and ready for what football can throw at you at times," he said.
The local boy has been thrown in at the deep end.
Not only is he charged with trying to rescue Tottenham's flagging hopes of finishing in the top four after they dropped to seventh, but he must then try to work out a way to stop Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday. On top of that Spurs are at the centre of the European Super League storm.
He said his focus was on getting the team in the right frame of mind for a big week on the pitch and hinted at a more attacking style than was seen under Mourinho who was sacked after 17 months in charge of the London club.
"I want us to be brave and aggressive, to play like Tottenham Hotspur," he told a virtual news conference.
"With such a short turnaround with games at the moment, the most important thing is to get the players in the right frame of mind, to give them some key principles in how we want to approach games of football and then hopefully as that goes on that can develop."
Mason said his surprise elevation to first team coach came after a long conversation with chairman Daniel Levy.
"I think it was yesterday morning. Once the news broke I was in the building anyway because I had been working with the younger lads," he added. "We had a conversation. I took training and then we had another conversation and he asked me if I wanted it and if I was happy to help the club.
"Obviously I was and the group were happy as well which is the most important thing and we look forward now."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)