Ryan Mason
Ryan Mason has become a staple of Mauricio Pochettino's side this seasonGetty Images

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Ryan Mason says Andre Villas-Boas's decision to send him out on loan to Lorient motivated him to be a part of the first team at White Hart Lane.

Mason was sent to the Ligue 1 side for the 2012-13 season but saw his deal terminated in April after failing to make a single senior appearance.

Less than two years on and Mason is a key member of the Tottenham team and a fully fledged England international, and the 23-year-old admits the harrowing experience inspired him to turn his career around.

"I was massively wary to move away, but at the time the manager [Andre Villas-Boas] thought it would be good for me to gain experience out there," he explained to FourFourTwo.

"Ligue 1 is a top league in Europe and while it didn't work out for me, it was interesting. The biggest thing I took from it was how much I just wanted to play and enjoy my football. There were times in France I didn't want to get out of bed and go to training, and that's no good.

"I knew how much I wanted to be happy playing, and came home very focused on achieving that."

The spell at Lorient was one of five Mason spent out on loan at Tottenham, time away from the club that saw first-team appearances separated by four years.

Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Millwall and Swindon Town all benefited from Mason's performances and the player feels the experience of the Football League helped develop him into the player he is today.

"It certainly toughens you up and gets you into that first-team environment," the Tottenham youngster added. "The change from reserve football or under-21s to the first team is massive, so at a young age I think it's important to get out and experience all that.

"At a Premier League club you're pampered, so to go to league football and graft that bit harder on your own is important. What is vital, though, is having a manager at your parent club who sees you are doing well away and then gives you the opportunities.

"As a loan player, you don't get the treatment a full-time player would, but that's only normal. There were times when I was away seeing other players getting a chance at Tottenham in the Uefa Cup and I was thinking that if I'd stuck around then I might be doing the same.

"I'd made that decision, though, and I was keen to play as much as I could, not every now and then. I think it's stood me in good stead."