Mourinho: Bale in contention f...


Mourinho: Bale in contention for Premier start after Europa League goal

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Gareth Bale's contribution to Tottenham's Europa League win away to Wolfsberg may have earned him a starting place in the Premier League game with West Ham. 

The Welsh international scored one and assisted another in a 4-1 win over the Austrian side in Budapest.

Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius got the others to put one Tottenham foot in the last-16.

Bale has been an ever-present in Europe this season, but has been confined to just four Premier League starts so far.

His cause has not been helped by rather public misunderstandings about his fitness with Mourinho.

Bale was replaced midway through the second half by Erik Lamela, something which Mourinho says hints to his involvement come Sunday lunchtime.

"One of the reasons why he left the pitch by minute 65 was to try to have him available for the next match because one of the things that is not easy related to his condition is the accumulation of minutes," said the Spurs boss

"So by taking him off at that minute we managed to save him a few miles in his legs and probably, I know the match is Sunday at 12pm, but I believe he has a chance to play the match.

"Let's wait, he is the kind of player that his experience, his feelings is a very important thing, like Harry Kane, we have to trust these players and their knowledge of their body and their feelings.

"I believe for him it was important for him to play but not play the 90 minutes."

Dele Alli was also given a rare start, but his manager was slightly cooler on his performance confirmed to that of Bale.

"In Dele’s case, he worked hard, he got a yellow card, when you have a yellow card, and with the referee showing so easily yellow cards to us, it was always a risk," Mourinho said.

"But he managed to stay on the pitch, and was also a little bit of Tanguy [Ndombele] because I thought that Tanguy would come fresh and unbalance things to our side again.

"So overall I’m happy with everyone, including the two players that you asked me."

Harry Kane wasn't involved against Wolfsberg, but Mourinho said it was merely a precautionary absence.

The Tottenham boss believes he'll have his star striker ready for the trip to the London Stadium, "I believe so, but experienced guy that had injuries in the past, he knows his body better than anyone.

"He knows that I want him to play every minute of every game, so it's never a question of a choice.

"I wanted to come here with the best team and the players that could give us more opportunities to win the game and get a good result, but he made the decision based on his feelings.

"His feelings were that to play this game could be a risk with the accumulation of minutes and the accumulation of minutes after the injury that he had.

"Of course myself and the medical department, we agreed with him in giving him this opportunity to take care of his condition, but I believe on Sunday he will be OK and ready."

John Giles | Man City extend lead | Champions League

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Dele Alli Gareth Bale Jose Mourinho Spurs Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur

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