By David Williams
The Wales captain played just over an hour of his club’s 3-0 over LASK in the Europa League on Thursday night, before confessing he still has work to do on his fitness.
There were occasional touches of class, such as the cross that led to the Austrians conceding an own goal, before Bale revealed he feels he is still at the pre-season stage of his own fitness.
“It’s one of those periods I have to use as a mini pre-season,” he said.
“I fully expect it’s going to take a few weeks and more minutes to get me going fully.
“It’s one of those adaption periods where I can keep working hard in training and games.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) October 22, 2020
“Once those match minutes get under my belt I will be sharper and better and hopefully contributing more to the team as well.
“I know how good the squad is, the team is, the manager is and how great the club is.
“It was the perfect fit for me to come back and I’m enjoying myself.
“I’m a little bit stiff, but hopefully it won’t take too long to get back to full speed. I’m just enjoying being back on the pitch and back at this amazing club.”
Bale was supposed to be the story of the night, making his first start of his second spell at the club, and he almost laid a goal on for Carlos Vinicius, but his cross was turned into his own net by Andrade.
— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) October 22, 2020
Vinicius then teed up Son Heung-min in the final 10 minutes to complete a memorable debut for the club after Vinicius had also created the first for Lucas Moura.
It was an evening that highlighted the strength of the Spurs squad, with Mourinho making eight changes, with Wales left-back Ben Davies being used in a central defensive role.
Davies impressed Mourinho who says he does not have to alternate with fellow left-back Sergio Reguilon.
“A little bit like Harry Kane and Vinicius,” Mourinho said. “When we’re speaking about Vinicius being a good player too and say he only plays when Harry doesn’t, it’s good that Vinicius can play with Harry.
“Ben and Reguilon is a little bit the same. Can they play together or for one to play and the other one has to be on the bench? Yes they can play together and that’s a very good thing for us.
19 goals in FOUR games.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side can’t stop scoring 💥 pic.twitter.com/NGXTR2sArk
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 22, 2020
“Ben is very intelligent. So that’s why it’s quite easy to understand the difference between playing left-back, centre-back with five or centre-back with four.
Of course left-footed there are not many centre-backs with a left foot. Some clubs have them but the majority don’t.
“To have him as an option is also good because to attack, the build-up is also important.”