Ryan 'an example' - Hugo
26 February 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Hugo Lloris may well have joined in when Ryan Mason left the pitch to a standing ovation after his goalscoring display against Fiorentina.
"I was very pleased to see that," said the skipper. "It was a great and warm moment for him."
Both Hugo and Mauricio Pochettino underlined the importance of Ryan to the team after his performances in our 4-1 aggregate win against the Italians.
Out for 10 weeks, Mauricio showed what he thought of the midfielder by making him captain in Hugo and Harry Kane's absence when he made his first start after injury in the first leg in Florence.
And Hugo led the plaudits again after Ryan scored the key opening goal to nudge us ahead 2-1 on aggregate in the return on Thursday night. Erik Lamela gave us daylight in the tie at 2-0 in the second half before a late own goal wrapped it up.
"It wasn’t easy for Ryan in the first part of the season because of injury but he’s back and we need him, he’s important for the team," said Hugo.
"He’s an example with the right mentality and the right profile. He shows again we have a lot of talented young players who are also very hungry and that’s a good sign for the club."
Below: Hugo speaks to Spurs TV
Our second most experienced player in Europe behind Jan Vertonghen, Hugo has now played 66 times in UEFA competitions and was impressed with the way we went about our business in the second leg to beat an in-form team sitting third in Serie A 3-0 at the Lane.
"It wasn’t easy, even if we had a good 1-1 draw away last week," reasoned Hugo. "It’s never easy to play a team like Fiorentina but again we showed a lot of character, a lot of maturity and we completely deserved to win and we’re all delighted to go through.
"My feeling is that Fiorentina are better than they were last season, so that shows we have improved a lot as a team and individually as well.
"I think in terms of maturity we’ve improved a lot and that’s very important if you want to achieve something.
"Even if the team or squad is young, on the pitch there is no age and against Fiorentina from the beginning to the end we played in our way, we ran a lot, kept possession of the ball and finished stronger than them."