Bale has broken through ‘psychological barrier’ of injuries – Mourinho
The Wales international has been in excellent form in recent weeks following a slow start at Tottenham
Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on Gareth Bale for breaking down a “psychological barrier” and heading back towards peak form.
Bale’s return to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid threatened to be a damp squib, as he struggled for playing time in the early stages of his second spell at the club.
His influence has grown in recent weeks, however, with four goals in his past three appearances highlighting his increased importance.
After a superb display in Spurs’ 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, Mourinho said Bale was getting due reward for working through his injury problems.
“It is not that we have challenged him or anything,” Mourinho told AS. “We have only supported him.
“I found psychological scars in him. When you are a couple of seasons with many injuries, the important thing is not only the muscular scars, but also the psychological ones, which bring fear and instability.
“There is a moment when you are working well and when everyone around you is supporting you to the maximum. At that moment the psychological barrier is broken.
“And he has done it. It was him, not us.”
There were fears through autumn and the early part of winter that Bale was done at the top level.
He was handed fleeting minutes by Mourinho and made little impact when given the chance.
However, his fortunes have turned around in the past month. The 31-year-old has six goals to his name in as many games, including doubles against Burnley and Palace.
Mourinho said recently that Bale is now comfortable and confident about playing two games a week, albeit with a tailored pattern that often sees him limited to just over an hour of action.
It seems to be a schedule that suits player and club, and if he can continue to show good form and remain free of injury, he may persuade Spurs to extend his stay.