Bale set for second Tottenham debut? Mourinho hints at team selection

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho says it is “very, very important” that Gareth Bale “has a happy season” as the winger works towards his second debut.

The Welshman is back in north London after seven years away at Real Madrid and is in line to feature for the first time this weekend against West Ham.

Mourinho has suggested that Spurs will be cautious with Bale after little football over the past few months, calling him “Gary” – a same mistake made with England manager Gareth Southgate – in the process.

“The team is the most important thing, Gary…Gareth is here to help the team but at the same time we care about him, we care about the body,” he told Sky Sports.

“The decisions we are going to make will be for the good of the team but also for his own good,” he told Sky Sports News.

“It is very, very important he has a happy season with us and I think at this moment in his career that is very, very important.”

Tottenham host West Ham on Sunday two weeks after their last game, a 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Mourinho has joked that complaints at the club have gone from too many games to too few as he welcomes his squad back to Hotspur Way.

“I have missed the press, no I am joking,” he continued. “I have missed the players, the majority of them, but the ones who were here worked very, very well and we managed to give them a couple of days off.

“Hard work since Monday and today is the first day where everyone is back.”

He added: “In that [busy] period, we were complaining about too many matches. Last week we are complaining about no matches, so we are always complaining.

“Jokes apart, we dealt well with that busy period, just because the squad is very good and the boys were fantastic.

“This period now, some of the guys went to national teams and it’s always a period that it’s a bit strange because you want to work but you cannot work because you’re waiting for them.

“Today they come [back] but of course different work for different groups. Then a big match on Sunday against a team that is playing well and getting very good results.

“It’s a London derby as well so let’s forget what we did well in the past couple of weeks where we got good results and a new period starts on Sunday.”

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