Interim head coach Ryan Mason has admitted Tottenham don’t want to end up in the Europa Conference League but said they will respect the competition next season.
Spurs ended a disappointing campaign with an entertaining 4-2 victory at Leicester to retain seventh place and ensure they will be the first representatives of English football in UEFA’s new tertiary competition.
Mason, who is set to be replaced by a new permanent manager this summer, said it was important for the club not to miss European football entirely for the first time since 2010.
“We wanted to be in the Champions League,” he said after the victory at King Power Stadium. “I’ve always said it, it’s disappointing where we are right now.
“It is important that we are in Europe, [but it’s] not the European competition in which we would like to participate.
“It was important that we end today with a win, for a lot of different reasons. Yes, this is not the competition we want to participate in next year, but it is a European competition, and we will respect it for sure.
Spurs were led twice by Jamie Vardy after fouls on forward Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez, but Harry Kane equalized in the first half before placing substitute Gareth Bale to make it 3-2 after the home goal of Kasper Schmeichel.
In doing so, Kane made sure to win a third Premier League Golden Boot with 23 goals – one ahead of Mohamed Salah – and finished with more assists (14) than anyone in what could be his final season with his childhood club.
“I think he has been the best player in the Premier League,” Mason said of the runaway England captain. “Most of the goals and most of the assists, that says it all.
“I feel very honored to have played with him and we have had some amazing experiences together, moving up through the ranks, and I have been very lucky over the last five weeks to have coached him, to have him. directed and he returned today. .
“He scored important goals in important moments and showed moments of brilliance. So from an individual point of view, I’m very happy that Harry has another Golden Boot to add to the collection.
Bale added Spurs’ fourth-place finish to double-digits in league goals this quarter and ensure he finished his one-season loan from Real Madrid with 16 in all competitions.
Afterwards, the Welshman said he had already decided on his future but would not reveal his plans until after the European Championship for fear of causing “chaos”.
“I’m not going to talk about individuals in regards to this summer and next season. We have to name a manager first, but as far as Gareth is concerned, yes he produced some brilliant moments, ”Mason said when asked if Bale would be back at Spurs.
“I always said Gareth wouldn’t lose this. You don’t lose that ability to produce times when you are so good overnight.
“He’s proven it over a decade and he’s been great for me and he’s also great today.
“I thought he came and changed the game. Some of the touches and balls he played he showed immense quality and I expect nothing less from Gareth.