Ryan Mason ‘not sure’ if Tottenham fans will be able to give Gareth Bale a potential send-off against Villa

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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ryan Mason has raised the possibility that Gareth Bale could finish the season without playing a Premier League game in front of Tottenham fans, saying he is “not sure” if the forward will be able to face Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Ten-thousand fans are set to return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since the win over Arsenal in December, when Bale was an unused substitute in front of 2,000 home supporters.

The Wales forward did start the Europa League win over Antwerp in front of supporters and was a late substitute for last month’s EFL Cup final defeat, with 8,000 spectators, including 2,000 Spurs fans, in attendance at Wembley.

Bale is one of the club’s favourite sons but it is unclear if he will return next season, with his future unresolved beyond the end of his one-year loan deal from Real Madrid.

Bale, 31, has struggled to play matches in close succession this season and Mason admitted he may not be ready to face Villa having played 89 minutes against Wolves on Sunday.

“I am not sure,” said the Spurs interim head-coach. “Gareth was probably the best I have seen him all season at the weekend.

“He was sharp, he was running at players, he has that confidence back of playing in repetitive games and he feels confident in his body.

“He also knows his body. He is a question mark for tomorrow. We are not sure whether or not he is going to be ready. It is down to the player, he is experienced enough.

“We’ll see. Like it was with Serge [Aurier at the weekend], if a player doesn’t feel 100 per cent, I don’t feel confident enough, we have enough players ready, enough players competing, that want to play.

“If a player doesn’t feel 100 per cent and it is not right then he won’t play.”

The return of supporters has been overshadowed by news of Harry Kane’s desire to leave Spurs in the summer and unrest at the club’s decision to join the European Super League, which has sparked protests from fans.

There could be more demonstrations before the match but Mason urged supporters to get behind the team.

“Come and enjoy the match, come and support the team like they always do,” he said.

“I know they will. I will be honest, the lucky ones that are coming into the stadium, I know they will be behind the team. That is an absolute fact. I am not worried, I feel confident they are going to help the team. The atmosphere will be amazing and we are looking forward to it.”

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