“I was watching the draw live and I thought ‘guaranteed we’ll play Arsenal’ and about 10 seconds later, Arsenal came out of the hat,” he told us from Teeside after training on Friday. “To be fair, when it came out like that, I was absolutely buzzing.”
The flying full-back joined Boro on a season-long loan in late August and has so far played 13 times in all competitions.
He was a regular until injury struck on November 29 and ruled him out for the best part of two months.
But now he’s back and raring to get to the Emirates for Sunday’s (4pm) huge fifth round tie with Middlesbrough currently flying high at the top of the Championship.
“We’ll approach it how we approach any other game,” added Ryan. “We’re on such a good run at the moment that we’re not used to turning up and losing games, so we’ll approach it like a normal game and look to go out there and try to win it. We’re not looking at just making the numbers up.
“It was frustrating to be out for six weeks or so but I’ve been back for a couple of weeks, I feel I’ve got my fitness and match sharpness back and this a great stage, playing against the type of team I’d love to play against week in, week out. It’s a great opportunity to show what we can do.”
It’s certain that a good display against the Gunners won’t go unnoticed here at Spurs and Ryan is well aware of how some of his team-mates at Under-21 level are now key members of the first team, particularly Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason.
“It gives all the youngsters at the club a boost, the whole Academy, knowing that you will get a chance if you are doing well enough,” he added. “You just need a break sometimes and then you need to do well. That’s when it’s in your hands.”