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Ryan Mason bemoans Tottenham’s slow start in defeat to Aston Villa

Ryan Mason bemoans Tottenham's slow start in defeat to Aston Villa

Tottenham Hotspur caretaker manager Ryan Mason could not hide his disappointment at his side’s first-half performance in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa earlier today.

After conceding early goals in recent away games against Newcastle United and Liverpool, Spurs fell behind again with the game in its infancy as Jacob Ramsey slotted home Leon Bailey’s cut-back.

Douglas Luiz then rifled home a well-struck free kick that caught Fraser Forster off guard before Harry Kane grabbed a consolation goal for Spurs in the 90th minute.

The defeat puts Tottenham in danger of missing out on European football as they sit sixth in the Premier League, level on points with Villa and two above Brighton & Hove Albion, who have three games in hand.

Mason was frustrated by his side’s slow start to the game at Villa Park, which cost them a vital three points – and not for the first time.

“Yes, again, and it’s happened far too many times this season,” Mason told SPURSPLAY. “To concede the first goal so early in the game makes it difficult.

“I thought they were better than us in the first half, although I don’t think Fraser made too many big saves, because he didn’t have to, but they were definitely the team that had a bit more.

“The Premier League is tough, and you have to be on it for 95 minutes. Unfortunately, today, I don’t think we were.

“We have to be better at that and try to improve that because we have two more games to the end of the season.”

Tottenham are barely hanging on to their European spot, with Villa and Brighton also pushing for an unlikely continental berth.

The Whites have endured a troubled season and have fallen off expectations, with Champions League football now firmly out of their reach.

Mason’s side still have a fighting chance of maintaining their Europa Conference League spot, but only if they win their final two games and hope both Villa and Brighton suffer a late slump.

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