Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho ‘totally convinced’ by ‘special’ Gareth Bale

Dan Kilpatrick and Jack Rosser
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho says he is “totally convinced” of Gareth Bale’s “special” quality and says that the Tottenham forward wants to step up and play more minutes before the end of the season.

Bale’s much-lauded return to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid has not gone as well as any party would have hoped and the Welshman, until recently, was struggling for game time.

The 31-year-old arrived with injury problems while Mourinho has often cited fitness issues and “feelings” as to why Bale has not been heavily involved under him. However, Bale was given 45 minutes off the bench in defeat at West Ham on Sunday and dominated the second half, creating a number of chances, assisting Lucas Moura’s goal from a corner and almost levelling when volleying against the bar.

Bale is expected to start the second leg of Spurs’ Europa League last-32 tie against Wolfsberger on Thursday, and while Mourinho has warned that he will still have to be careful with how much the winger plays, there is a desire to see him step up in big games between now and the end of the season.

“He doesn’t need to convince me of anything,” said Mourinho. “I am totally convinced about everything, its not about convincing me. It’s about being ready to play the minutes we’d all love him to play. It’s a process. you see how many matches he played in last couple of years.

“Of course we’d love him to play every minute of every game. He’s a player with special qualities. He had a positive impact against West Ham, a cross, a couple of assists, a shot, he hit the post. He’s doing that better and better. But he’s not playing 90 minutes, he’s not playing every game.

“We’re still managing his evolution. He needs to do nothing to convince me. We play 10 matches in seven plus three in March. Seven for us as a club and three for national team so our players are playing 10 matches in March which is absolutely crazy. And Gareth is a special example that we need to take care.

“Gareth is playing the minutes and period that he feels he can and minutes that are good for his evolution and what he wants in the second part of the season is play for minutes than he did and more crucial matches than he did.”

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