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José Mourinho suggested that Gareth Bale could have earned more chances for Tottenham after his role in their last Europa League win.
Tottenham took a strong step towards the knockout stages by winning the first leg of their knockout round of 32.
Bale scored a goal and an assist as the Spurs dispatched Wolfsberger 4-1, with Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius the other scorers.
The result means that Wolfsberger will have to score four goals in the second leg, or Spurs will pass. Hence, Mourinho hopes to go to the next round.
“I think we have one foot in the next round,” he said.
“I liked the performance in the first half. The performance in the second half gave them a bit of self-esteem. “
The game provided significant opportunities for players like Bale and Dele Alli to start. However, neither finished the match.
However, Mourinho had reasons to take them off.
“We had a result and we had a team performance,” he said. “I think they were positive as the team.
“I took Gareth off, I know that in this process it was not so easy to play the 90 minutes.
“Dele worked hard. He got a yellow card and with the referee giving us yellow cards so easily that I didn’t want to risk it ”.
Bale’s performance may have earned him a chance for more action in the Premier League. When asked if the Welshman could be involved in the Spurs’ return to league action against West Ham on Sunday, Mourinho suggested there was a possibility.
“I know the game is already on Sunday at 12 at night but I think he has a chance to play the game and let’s hope,” he said.
“He is also the type of player who has experience and his feelings are very important, like Harry Kane. I think it was important for him to play and not play the full 90 minutes.”
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Mourinho explains Kane’s absence
The other player Mourinho mentioned, Kane, missed the game. The forward has struggled to recover from injury in recent weeks, despite returning to action.
Kane wasn’t even in the call for the first leg against Wolfsberger. But Mourinho remains confident he could play against West Ham after explaining his absence.
“I think so,” Mourinho said on the issue of Kane’s availability Sunday. “But an experienced guy who had injuries in the past knows his body better than anyone.
“He knows that I want him to play every minute of every game.
“I wanted to come here with the best team and the best players. But he made the decision based on his feeling that playing this game could be a risk due to the accumulation of injuries and minutes he has.
“We and the sports science staff agreed. I think Sunday will be fine and ready. “
READ MORE: Wenger has the Kane injury theory