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Mourinho hints at greater role for Bale after starring against Wolfsberger

Reports of Gareth Bale’s footballing demise would appear to be premature.

The Spurs darling started here, made the first, scored a classy second and – subbed after 64 minutes – appeared to have played his way into a Premier League start at West Ham on Sunday.

“One of the reasons why we took him off after 64 minus was to try to have him ready for the next match,” said boss Jose Mourinho.

“By taking him off at that minute, we managed to save him a few miles in his legs. I know the match is on Sunday at 12pm but I believe he has a chance to play. So let’s wait.

“He is the kind of player whose experience and feelings are important. We have to trust these players and their knowledge of their body.”

Bale scored one and made another on an impressive night for Tottenham

Bale’s display was quite the riposte for those questioning his footballing appetite after those four Champions Leagues at Real Madrid.

Carp if you want about the opposition. In fact, I’ll do it for you. Wolsfberger are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition and sit sixth in the Austrian league.

We’ve all seen, however, just how often English teams have slipped up against so-called no-hopers in Europe.

So Spurs deserve credit for putting them to the sword. Bale in particular.

Showing glimpses of that old magic during the first 45 minutes he ate Wolfsberger alive.

Bale showed glimpses of his best form
Bale showed glimpses of his best form

Thirteen minutes in, Lucas Moura drifted in from the left and played a square ball to Matt Doherty. He in turn slipped in Bale down the right and the Welshman’s low cross enabled Son Heung Min to head home.

Then came Bale’s turn to take centre stage in the 28th minute. Moving towards the right byline, he checked back to leave left-back Jonathan Scherzer on his backside before guiding the ball home.

Moura’s goal, five minutes later, was even better. Like a skier weaving between flags, the Brazilian ghosted past Wolfsberger players on a 40-yard run down the left. Once in the box his finish was emphatic.

Spurs still can’t keep clean sheets though. Ten minutes after the break. Moussa Sissoko brought down midfielder Christopher Wernitznig in the box for Michael Liendl to net a penalty.

Wernitznig then saw his 70th-minute strike from inside the box hit the bar, bounce down onto the line and rebound to safety.

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It took a close range finish from substitute Carlos Vinicius, two minutes from time, to ease nerves and surely kill the tie.

The night, however, belonged to Bale – who may now be ready to make his mark with every game for Spurs now a big one.

Meanwhile, Mourinho revealed Harry Kane ruled himself out of Spurs’ win.

Kane, who has scored 21 times in 38 games for club and country this season, made the choice to stay in London ahead of Sunday’s Premier League showdown with at high-flying West Ham.

Mourinho said: “He is an experienced guy who had injuries in the past and knows his body better than anyone.

“He knows I want to play him every minute of every game so it is never a question of a choice.

“I wanted to come here with the best team and the players to give us more opportunities to have a good result.

“But he made the decision based on his feelings which was that to play in this game was a risk with the accumulation of minutes after the injury he had.

“Myself and the medical department agreed with him, to give him this opportunity to take care of his condition. But I believe Sunday he will be okay and ready.”




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