Mourinho gives Bale fitness update; makes promise to Marine fans

Date published: Friday 8th January 2021 3:44 - Robert McCarthy

Jose Mourinho has promised Marine fans that they will see some of Tottenham’s big names in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie, while also giving an update on Gareth Bale’s fitness.

Spurs will head to Merseyside to take on the non-league outfit, with Mourinho expected to freshen up his squad after a tough run of fixtures.

However, the Tottenham chief insists he will not take Marine lightly in what would be arguably the biggest cup shock of all time.

He said: “The message is basically what I said, I don’t think they want to play against Tottenham U23s, they want to play against the guys they are used to watching, admiring, used to following and we want to give them that.

“Myself and my staff the respect is the way we are preparing the game and the same way we’re trying to know their striker, their centre-back, keeper, their tactical organisation, it’s the same we do with other opponents, of course of a different level and basically it’s that.

“I think the same way they feel happy to play against us I want my guys, I feel that. I’m very happy to play them and very happy it’s in Crosby and not at home.

Mourinho.Tottenham.TEAMtalk2

“I feel very happy to play them and I understand the dream. It’s up to us to bring them back to reality but I clearly understand the dream.

“Nobody puts a foot on the football pitch knowing or feeling that we are going to lose so I believe that in this moment they feel like they are going to win and it’s up to us to bring them back to reality.

“We are top professionals, we are a different level and we are going to win. It is up to us to make them understand that as soon as possible but in this moment they have this dream.”

Bale has a chance

Mourinho revealed that Bale could return to the squad, if he gets through a training session on Saturday.

The Wales winger has been sidelined with a calf injury since the Carabao Cup win over Stoke, but is now back in training.

Gareth Bale, Jose Mourinho

The Spurs chief added: “He trained today first time with us so tomorrow second time and tomorrow after training we will make a decision and what I can say and it’s also a way to show you the way we are looking, the respect we have for this fixture, is that Gareth told me he would like to go and would like to play so if tomorrow if the feelings are positive, Gareth will come.”

One of Harvey White and Jack Clarke will be involved in the matchday squad, having already featured in the Europa League this season.

Mourinho said: “Harvey and Jack they are U23s, they play U23s when we feel that they should go there and take minutes but there are professionals.

“They belong with the first team squad, they train with the first team squad since day one in pre-season. They played in the Europa League so let’s look at them as first team players and of course they will be involved in the game but they are involved so many times so it’s nothing new.

“With a starting 11 plus nine on the bench we are speaking about 20 players. I can tell you, in this 20 player we will take only one U18 player. So we will take one U18 player who will be on the bench, like we had also that in other matches.

“We had that in many other matches. One kid will be on the bench, so out of 20 only one. Apart from that we have 19 players from the first team squad.”

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