18 February 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Ryan Mason spoke of his pride in captaining the team for the first time as his family watched from the stands in our 1-1 draw against Fiorentina.
The midfielder made his first start since recovering from an ankle injury sustained against Chelsea on November 29 as it ended all-square in the Europa League Round of 32 first leg at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.
Ryan felt the draw was a fair result but we looked good for more after enjoying long spells of possession and taking the lead via Nacer Chadli's penalty on 37 minutes.
Unfortunately, Ryan was involved as a touch of fortune went against us for the Serie A side to level on 59 minutes as Federico Bernardeschi's 30-yarder clipped his foot and looped over Michel Vorm.
Both teams had chances after that so taking Fiorentina's home record into account - currently second-best in Serie A with 10 wins in 13 - 'Mase' said the team was satisfied with their night's work.
Below: Ryan speaks to Spurs TV in Florence
"Obviously it's a proud moment for me and my family," said Ryan. "My family travelled out today so to have captained the side, I’m very proud and honoured to have had that experience.
"It’s a massive responsibility, to be fair we’ve a lot of leaders on the pitch and I’d like to think I’m one of those.
"It was a great, great experience, obviously it was an important game, it was a tough game as well but I think it was a fair result in the end."
As always, an away goal is always key in a two-legged European encounter and it's all to play for in the return at the Lane on Thursday week, February 25.
"That was important," he added. "To come to a place like this and get the away goal is massive, it was obviously disappointing to give away the lead but I think on reflection in the second half it was probably a fair result and we’re confident going back to the Lane."
Very proud moment and an honour to captain the side tonight! An important away goal going into the game at the Lane next week! #COYS— Ryan Mason (@RyanMason) February 18, 2016
Meanwhile, Ryan, who missed 14 games in all competitions during his stint on the sidelines, was delighted to be back out there.
"It’s been a long time, it’s obviously frustrating, but to come back into a team that’s doing so well is a great feeling and I’m very happy," he said.