Jose Mourinho has suggested that Gareth Bale needs to improve his consistency in training if he is to get more game time for Tottenham.
Bale could get a run out against Wycombe in the FA Cup on Monday night, but generally his game time has been limited.
The 31-year-old has not had the impact expected with three goals in 12 appearances. The attacker has made just one start in the Premier League and there has been talk of curtailing his loan spell early.
Bale signed on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in mid-September, but his time back in north London has been far from straight forward.
Mourinho dismissed sending Bale back to Madrid early, but he has referred to the player’s injury record and confidence levels.
The Spurs boss also believes Bale’s training intensity needs to be more consistent.
Mourinho said: “I cannot give players minutes – minutes on the pitch is not something I can give.
“We all know the difficulties that he had for a couple of seasons.
“We all know that he arrived injured, we all know that even this season [he is] a little bit up and down with small things
“The most important thing for him is to be consistent in training, at high intensity without any problems, and when a player is consistent in training then the player is ready, not to be given minutes but to earn minutes. That’s a different thing.
“This week he is working every minute like everybody else at a good intensity. Let’s see the way that he reacts to the accumulation of that kind of work and let’s see how he reacts by the end of the week.
“The match (against Wycombe) is Monday and we still have training sessions to evaluate that. It is also about his confidence. If he feels that the week that he’s had has had a positive impact on him and, on his confidence, he will play.”
Reguilon return talk
Meanwhile, Reguilon could soon face a difficult decision after the latest reports claimed his former club are considering activating his buy-back clause.
Tottenham have found their groove under Jose Mourinho following a difficult start to life last year.
The Portuguese has brought out the best of deadly duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. Furthermore, Tanguy Ndombele has been transformed from misfit to maestro.
A crucial component behind Spurs’ resurgence came via Mourinho’s transfer dealings in the summer.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has fitted in seamlessly and provided bite and tenacity in the engine room.
Spanish left-back Sergio Reguilon has also been a revelation. Five assists have already been notched in all competitions to go along with a series of solid defensive displays.
The ex-Real Madrid star is already a fans favourite, though the latest reports suggest his stay may not be a long one.