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  • By Yann Tear

Dele Alli earns Mason's appreciation for his part in Sunday victory over Wolves

Ryan Mason praised Dele Alli for coming out from the cold to end the season on a high.

The midfielder has endured an unhappy season on the whole, having struggled to win the trust of previous boss Jose Mourinho when it came to starting elevens.

But he is playing with renewed energy under caretaker boss Mason and played his part in Sunday's 2-0 victory over Wolves at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"Professional," said Mason, in summing up Alli's contribution.

"It's not easy for professionals to spend a long time on the sidelines, not playing, but Dele has started the last three games now and to do that says a lot about him as a character, the way he lives his life.

"He loves football, you can see that. He runs, he helps the team, he fights.

"I know he's sitting in there disappointed because he didn't get a goal - and I thought his performance deserved a goal - but he was outstanding. We had outstanding performances throughout the team, but Dele had a really good game. I'm really pleased with him."

Spurs are up to sixth following the win and are in a good position to land a Europa League place, even if the Champions League surely remains beyond them. They should enjoy their next challenge too, at home to Aston Villa on Wednesday, when fans will be welcomed back for the first time since December.

"This is Tottenham Hotspur," Mason said. "We want to be playing in the biggest competitions and biggest games. That's our aim. That's what we want. This season hasn't gone to plan, for whatever reason, but our focus is to win the next game.

"Today was really big for the club, a really big game, but now we go on to Wednesday and we know it's another big game for us. We can't wait.

"To play in front of our fans is going to be amazing. Ten thousand will make a hell of a difference in this stadium. We're looking forward to seeing them and hopefully we can put in a performance and get a good result for them too."

Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg netted the goals against Wolves in a match Spurs controlled comfortably once they had got their noses in front just before the break. They struck woodwork three times and ought to have won more emphatically.

"First of all, the most important thing was to win the game but I thought today our performance was excellent," Mason said.

"We controlled the game and had lots of shots, lots of moments.

"I'm sure our attacking players will be a little bit disappointed there weren't more goals because I thought the performance definitely deserved that."

Praising Hojbjerg for his striker the Spurs boss said it was all down to the midfielder's energy and willingness to get forward.

"That desire, that willingness to run - he felt it was right, he sensed the moment and it's pleasing to see a midfielder score a tap-in from six yards out," Mason concluded. "But it's not so much about the individual, the most pleasing thing for me was the performance as a whole.

"At 2-0 they had a couple of chances but I thought that overall, we had control of the game and were the team creating."


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