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Ryan Mason: 'Harry Kane was not bidding farewell to fans'

Ryan Mason: 'Harry Kane was not bidding farewell to fans'
© Reuters
The England striker, who reportedly wants to leave the club, clapped all four corners of the ground following Tottenham's loss to Aston Villa.

Interim Tottenham boss Ryan Mason does not think Harry Kane's lap of honour at the end of the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa was a goodbye to the fans.

Kane, who is reported to have told the club he wants to leave this summer, walked to all four corners of the ground clapping to the 10,000 fans after a loss which severely hurts Spurs' Europa League qualification hopes.

If it was the England captain's last home game for the club then he will have regrets over it as it was an abject display.

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Harry Kane has been linked with a summer move away from Tottenham (Paul Childs/PA)

Steven Bergwijn's first goal of the season put Spurs ahead early on but a spectacular Sergio Reguilon own goal and Ollie Watkins' strike gave Villa the points.

Kane's future is sure to dominate the summer, but Mason said there was nothing unusual in his actions at the end of the game.

"It's normal. If anyone has been at the last home game of the season while Harry Kane has played at this football club, he has been pretty consistent in going around the pitch, clapping the fans and getting a good reaction," Mason said.

"Nothing has changed this season to home games in previous seasons, it's normal."

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Jack Grealish was on hand to help Ollie Watkins celebrate what was the winning goal following the midfielder's injury absence (Paul Childs/PA)

Since reports broke on Monday about Kane telling Spurs he wanted to be sold this summer, they dominated the build-up to the game.

Mason says that did not play a part in one of the worst performances of the season.

"No I don't think so. If we started the game terribly and were 2-0 down after 10 minutes maybe you could say that, but we didn't," he said.

"We were 1-0 up in 10 minutes and in control. So no, I don't believe that.

"We are professionals, we are paid to do a job. The players were fully focused on the match. It is really disappointing we have lost the game tonight.

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Interim manager Ryan Mason was left to reflect on a defeat which could have cost Spurs a place in Europe (Richard Heathcote/PA)

"The hope and expectation was to win, we haven't done that, the players are disappointed, the fans are and I am sure those people at home are as well."

The 10,000 fans that got lucky with a ticket, maybe wish they had not after being forced to watch a dismal display.

Things turned toxic at the end of the match when fans refused to leave until the players came back out, chanting against chairman Daniel Levy.

Mason, who was trying to conduct interviews at the time of the chants, understands the fans' frustrations.

He added: "We've just lost a game of football. It's an emotional game. Our fans care. I care, so I've no problem with fans being disappointed. They've come here to support us and they wanted us to win.

"We didn't do that. I feel very disappointed that we didn't do that. So they're emotional. There's nothing wrong with that. That's normal in this game. It shows they care."

Villa were worthy winners, helped by having Jack Grealish back in the side for the first time since February following an injury.

Boss Dean Smith said his star man is getting back to his best.

"Over the last couple of weeks he has been a little bit tentative from the normal Jack Grealish, which is understandable," he said.

"But today I thought he exuded confidence and he wanted me to keep him on, I managed to get 12 minutes extra than the medical staff wanted. Jack was happy and I was happy and Jack is getting better and better.

"I have no doubts that Jack will be wanting to start on Sunday. That was a precaution after every game. He gets ice on after every game, it must be tough carrying those calves around."

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Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane pictured on May 19, 2021
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
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SWIMMING
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