Mourinho urges Bale to step up in ‘crucial moment’ for him at Tottenham

The Wales captain has failed to sparkle since returning to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho has said the time has come for Gareth Bale to step up and show he is worthy of his place in the Tottenham side.

Spurs’ misery on account of their defeat to Liverpool on Thursday was compounded by the news that star striker Harry Kane is facing weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

Mourinho’s side lacked any attacking spark with Kane not involved in the second half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and their title hopes may fade in his absence.

The coach needs his remaining big names to make their presences felt. Son Heung-min has delivered consistent quality and is likely to continue in the same vein, but question marks persist over Bale following his loan move from Real Madrid last summer.

He arrived to much fanfare, but his second spell at the club is yet to get off the ground. Kane’s absence offers up an attacking spot in the side, and Mourinho has urged the Wales captain to take it.

“It is a crucial moment for him [Gareth Bale], he feels better and better,” Mourinho said.

“When you lose a player of Harry’s quality, other players have to step up and hopefully Bale can help us.”

Bale has four goals to his name in his second spell at Tottenham, but only one has come in the Premier League – a competition he has seen little action in.

Mourinho claims Bale has had chances, and in his preferred position.

“The position that [Bale] likes to play is the position we put him in every minute we give him, which is the correct side of the attack,” Mourinho said.

Bale’s one Premier League goal came against Brighton in November, and he could get the chance of a repeat when Spurs take on the Seagulls on the South Coast on Sunday.

If Bale is to stand any chance of securing a permanent move from Real Madrid to Tottenham, he needs to find his old spark.

At 31 years of age, his best days could be behind him – but Mourinho will hope the forward can find some form in order to keep the north Londoners in the title hunt.

Spurs are sixth in the Premier League table, eight points behind leaders Manchester City, but they do have a game in hand.

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