Romelu’s gone to Inter Milan but, from your experience as a great goalscorer, do you look at our squad and think there’s enough goals there?
“Yeah, I do feel [that]. But, of course, there’ll be more responsibility on players to get the goals, because Rom was a very good goalscorer, he is a very good goalscorer, and I’m sure he’ll score goals for Inter Milan [and] wherever he goes, because that’s what he does. For us, we’ve decided that we want to play in a certain way that I think will get players into different positions to finish, and I’m sure we’ll see more goals from the ones that we do play. But, as I said, they do have to take that responsibility, grab the chance, because it’s a great chance for some players to stake a claim in the team.”
It could mean, for instance, Mason possibly getting more opportunities..
“Absolutely. It’s one of the big decisions that you have to make when you’ve got such a talented player coming through. Are you going to get players in who are going to block his path, or are you going to trust him and give him the opportunity? And he’s one that we believe is going to be a big part of this club going forward, so we’ll see lots of him.”
We saw a lot of the youngsters on the tour in pre-season like, obviously, Mason, but also Angel [Gomes] and Chongy [Tahith Chong] as well. Are you looking at them thinking that they can be generally part of it, or are you considering a loan?
“No, to be honest, I can see them staying here, yes, and making a proper impact, because they have already in pre-season. They did so in February, March, April – they did well in training. We never gave them enough game time, but pre-season’s shown that they’ve grown over the last six months and they’re getting used to man’s football, and they’ll get opportunities.”