Home Sports Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho 'very happy' for Gareth Bale after Burnley masterclass

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho 'very happy' for Gareth Bale after Burnley masterclass

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Jose Mourinho was full of praise for Tottenham star Gareth Bale after his stunning performance helped brush Burnley aside on Sunday, boosting the club’s chances of ensuring Champions League qualification for next season. The Welshman was arguably the best player on the pitch, opening the scoring inside two minutes before goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura put Spurs into a commanding lead before half-time.

Bale added another shortly after the interval with a cultured finish to put the result beyond all doubt and seal a much-needed return to winning ways.

The result leaves Spurs six points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham in the Premier League table, with the added benefit of a game in hand.

Mourinho claimed after the whistle that he was thrilled with Bale’s efforts, but urged him to maintain his positive momentum in order for his side to stand any chance of a top-four finish, claiming that his team-mates need him to stay on top form.

“I am very happy for him, very happy for the team because the team needs his talent,” the Portguese boss told Sky Sports. “I am very happy for him because he is quiet, doesn’t speak to you, watches, reads, listens or probably not, because he had all that from Real Madrid, probably ignores it a little bit.

“I am happy because when his condition is good he can do things like today. His game was very good, not just scoring, changing speeds, going inside. I am very happy for him.”

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Spurs had won just one of their last six Premier League matches going into Sunday’s clash, with Mourinho desperately hoping for three points to resurrect their fading hopes of Champions League football next season.

Bale’s appearance was only his third top-flight start of the season since joining on loan from Real Madrid, but he looked every bit as sharp as his team-mates when on the ball, combining well with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to pose a significant threat throughout.

The 31-year-old has come under fire in recent months for struggling to replicate his Spurs form of old.

However, Sunday’s performance silenced the critics, with Bale managing to roll back the years and show that he can still be a world-class player on his day.

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Despite his man-of-the-match performance, Mourinho remained coy when asked if Bale is back to his brilliant best, suggesting that he is not expecting the former Southampton man to suddenly re-establish himself as the club’s most influential player between now and the end of the season.

“We know the quality he has,” Mourinho added, speaking to BBC Match of the Day. “I don’t want to say that [he is back to his best].

“We don’t need the Gareth Bale of five or six years ago. That player wouldn’t be here, he’d be at Real Madrid. He is winning duels and you saw his speed and direction.”

The relationship between Bale and Mourinho became shrouded in uncertainty earlier this year, with rumours hinting that the winger had become disillusioned with life under the Portuguese boss.

The latter had publicly slammed Bale earlier this month, with an Instagram post in which the four-time Champions League winner had described his day at training as a ‘good session’ dismissed as a ‘contradiction with reality’.

However, Bale claimed after Sunday’s match that he has always been happy at Spurs, reaffirming his ambition to continue making vital contributions in the club’s hunt for a top-four finish between now and the end of the season.

“The most important thing is we knew we’ve not been on a great run, and it was important to get back to winning ways,” he said.

“It’s not just about scoring, it’s about our all-round play and helping the team. I’m delighted with the goals and the assist and whatever I can do for the team.

“I’ve been happy all season. In the dressing room I feel comfortable and I’m having fun. I’m happy and I’m sure it’s showing on the pitch.

“I wasn’t upset to be substituted. There are a lot of games to come. It’s important to keep building minutes each game.”



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