Bale and Mourinho reach a truce! Jose backs the Welshman to fire in crunch West Ham clash after taking him off against Wolfsberger despite hitting a stunning goal for Tottenham in emphatic Europa League victory
- Gareth Bale scored one and set up another in 4-1 win over Wolfsberger
- He has struggled for game time but appears to be sharpening up at Spurs
- Mourinho subbed Bale against Wolfsberger and said it was to preserve his legs
- Tottenham take on West Ham on Sunday in pivotal Premier League fixture
Gareth Bale pushed his claims for just a third Premier League start of the season by inspiring Tottenham to a Europa League win against Wolfsberger.
Bale scored one and set up another in Spurs’ convincing win in Budapest and Jose Mourinho confirmed he withdrew the Welshman to ensure he was fit and in contention for Sunday’s crucial trip to West Ham.
Bale has struggled for game time since returning to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid and relations between the pair appeared strained when Mourinho took exception to a social media post from the 31-year-old about his fitness last week.
Gareth Bale scored a goal and provided an assist in the Europa League against Wolfsberger
Jose Mourinho (right) took the Welshman off to preserve him for the West Ham game
Mourinho said: ‘One of the reasons why he left the pitch by minute 64 was to try to have him available for the next match.
‘By taking him off at that minute we managed to save him a few miles in his legs. I know the match is Sunday at 12 o’clock but I believe he has a chance to play the match.
‘For him it was important to play and not to play the 90 minutes.’
Spurs ran out 4-1 winners in Budapest – the tie moved to Hungary due to Covid-19 restrictions – without Harry Kane who was left behind.
The forward returned to some form on Thursday night and is building up match fitness
Kane missed two games recently after suffering injuries to both ankles and Mourinho said: ‘I believe so [he will be fit for West Ham] but, experienced guy that had injuries in the past.
‘He knows his body better than anyone. He knows 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 opportunity to win the game and have a good result but he made the decision based on his feelings.
‘His feelings were to play this game could be a risk with the accumulation of minutes after the injury that he had and myself and the medical department we agreed with him in giving him this opportunity to take care of his condition but I believe that Sunday he is going to be ok and ready.’
Mourinho believes Harry Kane will be back in action for Tottenham against West Ham