Tottenham interim boss Ryan Mason is keen to turn the focus on his side’s strengths in training as the Champions League qualification race heads towards its climax.
Spurs are five points off the top four with four games to go and Mason is going to have to realistically oversee four wins if they are to overhaul one of Chelsea or Leicester.
Mason is in the job because of Jose Mourinho’s sacking last month and one of the criticisms of the Mourinho regime was that training sessions were too focused on the opposition rather than his own side’s strengths.
The 29-year-old is looking to change that and the club released footage of a six versus four training session, where each side had six seconds to score a goal.
Mason will pay due respect to the opposition, starting with Leeds on Saturday, but the focus will be more on his own players.
Mason said: “I respect any team we come up against. I respect managers, I respect players, I respect football clubs.
“It wouldn’t be right of me if I didn’t spend and invest a lot of energy and a lot of my time trying to figure out how they want to play and go about certain things in certain moments. I focus a lot on Leeds. I focussed a lot on Sheffield United.
“And every game that we do play, there will be a lot of focus on the opposition but also there has to be more focus on us because we have some very good players.
“I am sure they will be thinking about us as well. We respect them massively, we respect everyone we come up against but we have to focus on us.
“It is about how we are going to try and implement our style, how are we going to win this game of football.
“Because if we don’t have that, then it is going to be very difficult to win a game of football. Massive respect to any team we come up against but also a lot of energy invested in us, that is for sure.”
Mason is still making his own way as a coach, having only retired in 2017 after a head injury, and he admits to being influenced by former boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Part of Pochettino’s make up as a coach was a strong belief in universal energy and Mason says it is a philosophy he also believes in.
“I think energy is important and it’s important that it’s a good energy,” he added.
“Mauricio opened my eyes to a lot of things, he and his coaching team opened my eyes to a lot as a player and as a person as well. It’s important.
“If you’re doing something, you need to feel good, you need to be mentally in the right place to work and to compete. Yeah, it’s so important that we try and transmit this kind of feeling to each other, to our players, to the groundsmen, to the cleaners, everyone.
“Because when you get that feel-good energy, the running doesn’t seem as hard, the competition doesn’t seem as hard, it’s a key to any environment to work well, not just in football but in life as well.
“Whether it’s at home with your kids, with your family – you need to be happy, you need to feel good, for sure.”