(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho says Gareth Bale is approaching a "crucial moment" in his loan spell as he challenged his attacking players to step up in the absence of injured striker Harry Kane.
Bale, 31, has struggled for form and fitness since rejoining Spurs on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, scoring four goals in 14 appearances for Mourinho's side in all competitions.
With Kane picking up two separate ankle injuries during Thursday's 3-1 Premier League defeat by Liverpool, Mourinho has called on Bale's support.
"It's a crucial moment for him, he's feeling better and better," Mourinho told a news conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.
"When you lose a player of Harry's quality and dimension, the other guys have to step up. Hopefully he (Bale) can help us."
Carlos Vinicius was signed on loan as a second striker last October, but despite losing Kane to injury at halftime against Liverpool, the Brazilian was not brought on from the bench and has played just 25 minutes in the league.
Mourinho ruled out switching Bale to a centre forward role vacated by Kane, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season.
"Harry Kane is Harry Kane. There are players in some teams that are not replaceable," Mourinho said.
"The position that he (Bale) likes to play is the position where we are playing him every minute we give him, which is the right side of the attack."
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)