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January 27, 2021

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Boost for Bale after rare praise from Mourinho

Gareth Bale’s goalscoring performance was labelled as “good” by Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho after the English Premier League club came from behind to beat Championship side Wycombe Wanderers 3-1 in their FA Cup fourth-round tie.

Mourinho’s assessment will boost the spirits of the 31-year-old Wales star, who has had an underwhelming second spell at Spurs since coming on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.

He has been hampered by fitness issues, and mostly been confined to Europa League games, playing just 45 minutes of EPL football since early November.

Mourinho, though played him for the full 90 minutes of the Wycombe game at Adams Park Stadium in High Wycombe, and Bale showed his rustiness in front of goal by spurning several chances after he had drawn the sides level.

However, Mourinho said his overall performance — which set the team up with a tough fifth-round trip to Everton — had been pleasing.

“It was good,” said the Portuguese.

“Some good movement.

“Some one against one, beating people, attacking people, creating chances. Of course scoring a goal.”

Mourinho had spoken ahead of the game of how Bale could not expect to be given game time and that he had to earn it on what he did on the training ground.

“Apart from that I never felt he couldn’t play the 90 minutes,” the Spurs boss said.

“I never felt that I needed to change him.

“Of course the Championship is a good, competitive level and the aggression is high and the intensity is good.

“So I’m happy,” he added.

Mourinho’s side is still involved in four competitions, including the EPL title race and faces out of form champion Liverpool tomorrow.

Should the Portuguese wish for a relaxing moment prior to that his Wycombe counterpart Gareth Ainsworth, who sings in a rock band, gave him a tantalizing invite.

“He (Mourinho) said he might not be able to sing but I bet he can play a mean tambourine,” said Ainsworth.


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