Bale aims thinly veiled dig at Mourinho after Spurs exit

Will Ford
Gareth Bale F365
Gareth Bale with Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho during the 2020/21 season.

Gareth Bale has aimed a thinly veiled dig at former manager Jose Mourinho, claiming Spurs need to be “on the front foot a bit more”.

Mourinho was sacked by Spurs this week after coming under heavy criticism for his negative tactics in north London.

Bale was used sparingly under the Portuguese boss but was put straight into the starting lineup by Ryan Mason, who took charge of his first game on Wednesday.

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And Bale repaid Mason’s faith, curling in the equaliser after Danny Ings had given Southampton the lead, before Son Heung-min won it late on for Tottenham.

Asked what needed to change at Spurs in a post match interview, Bale claimed they “want to attack” and need to be let off what was a tight leash under Mourinho.

“Just to be on the front foot a bit more,” he told Sky Sports. “We want to attack, we’re a big team, we have great players.”

Bale also praised Mason after it was announced that the 29-year-old will be in temporary charge until the end of the season while Daniel Levy searches for a long-term replacement.

The Welshman was impressed by his motivational words at half-time in the 2-1 win.

“Very good team talk at half-time,” Bale added. “Came out, second half, and played really well.”

It was a fairy-tale evening for Mason, who joined Spurs as an eight-year-old and was cruelly forced to retire as a player aged just 26.

“First of all the feeling is a massive relief,” he said. “It’s been a whirlwind the last two or three days but thankfully we got the win and most importantly I felt second half we were outstanding.

“The performance, the commitment, the energy was brilliant because I thought in the first half we found it very difficult.

“It was quite tough to get out and they were very good. They created some chances. Hugo (Lloris) pulled off two world-class saves for us but I thought as the game wore on we gained control of it and I thought there was only one team that was going to win the match.”