RYAN MASON’S return to the club where he spent 16 years after joining at the age of just eight could be as a substitute.
For someone who moved north to Hull City in a club record £13m deal just 15 weeks ago, this is not how it was supposed to be but Mike Phelan dropped the midfielder last weekend for the visit of Crystal Palace and such was the impressive nature of the team’s display in attack that getting back in to face Tottenham Hotspur could be tough.
“Players get judged on fees and managers sometimes play them out of position and it doesn’t work,” said Phelan when asked about the 25-year-old ahead of tomorrow’s trip to White Hart Lane.
“I just went with what I felt was the strongest team to take on Crystal Palace. I thought it worked pretty well.
“We have to remember Ryan came to this football club from Tottenham, where he was playing beneath the first team. Now, he is trying his luck at Hull.
“He has given himself a chance by coming out of a place where he was comfortable. He is now out of that comfort zone.
“It is difficult to make any decision. As a coach or manager, you can ask anyone at this side of the game that this picking the team is the hardest thing to do when all the players are available.”
One Tiger certain to start in the capital tomorrow is Adama Diomande, after the Norwegian striker capped his best display in a City shirt with a goal in Saturday’s enthralling 3-3 draw.
Phelan added: “Diomande has had his ups and downs. But, as much as I found fault with one aspect of his game at Middlesbrough, he has answered that. He has shown me what he can do.”