Jose Mourinho said he never even thought about taking Gareth Bale off during Tottenham’s win over Wycombe as the manager heaped praise on a player still pushing to earn a more consistent role.
Bale scored Spurs’ first goal of the 4-1 win, helping Mourinho’s side erase an early 1-0 deficit in what started off as an FA Cup scare.
His finish was followed up by a goal from Harry Winks and two from Tanguy Ndombele within the final four minutes, sealing the victory.
The goal was Bale’s third of the season as the winger made just his 12th appearance since joining on loan from Real Madrid this summer.
Bale has been on the periphery of Mourinho’s team all season long, having appeared just four times in the Premier League this term.
Mourinho admitted on Sunday that Bale must earn his chances at more regular minutes, challenging the winger to impress.
And impress he did on Monday, with Mourinho highlighting Bale as a positive from Spurs’ victory.
“It was good,” he said of Bale’s performance. “Some good movement. Some one and against ones, beating people, attacking people, creating chances. Of course, scoring a goal
“Apart from that I never felt he couldn’t play the 90 minutes. I never felt that I needed to change him and that is good. Of course, the Championship [opponents] is a good, competitive level and the aggression is high and the intensity is good. So I’m happy.
“We had some good performances from the boys that started the game. Of course, Winks was man of the match, which is very much deserved because I thought he was very, very good in everything he did, apart from the goal.
“The goal is just a very small important detail but I’m happy because I think the attitude of the team was very professional and it’s the kind of game that, even if we lose because we don’t take chances and they score in the last minutes, let’s say that I wouldn’t be sad because it was a very professional performance.”
Tottenham currently sit fifth in the Premier League ahead of Thursday’s clash with Liverpool in north London.