Jose Mourinho has blamed Real Madrid for Gareth Bale’s slow start upon his return to Spurs following the winger’s improved performances in recent weeks.
Bale returned to the north London side seven years after his world-record departure during the summer, but the fanfare that greeted his signing subdued as the Wales international failed to make an impact over the opening months of the campaign.
The 31-year-old has since found his feet and has scored four goals in his past four appearances, including a brilliant individual display to score twice in the 4-0 thrashing of Burnley last weekend.
His performance against the Clarets was a reminder of his qualities with his second goal vintage Bale, cutting inside from the right before hitting an unstoppable finish beyond Nick Pope and into the far corner.
Ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Fulham, Mourinho has discussed Bale’s slow start to the season and has lay the blame at the door of parent club Real Madrid for his initial struggles.
“Ask Madrid, maybe if they answer to you, you can understand why it took a while. Maybe to be patient was the main reason.” Mourinho told his pre-match press conference.
Mourinho confirmed that Bale will once again be involved, but failed to reveal whether the winger will be handed a second successive start after just three starting appearances in the Premier League so far this season.
“He will be involved. Bench or starting, he will be there.”
Mourinho was also questioned on the heated exchange between Sky Sports’ pundits Jamie Redknapp and Roy Keane ahead of the club’s clash with Burnley, the latter having been particularly critical of the lack of quality within the north London side’s squad.
The Spurs boss says he hasn’t watched the fiery confrontation, but insists he still has ‘huge respect’ for Keane both as a man and for his work as a pundit.
“I have huge respect for Roy. I loved to work with him at Sky but independent of that he is a winner and I have a lot of respect for him and his job as a pundit.”