Jose Mourinho says Gareth Bale has been making him aware how long he can last during matches in order to avoid injuries and fatigue.
Bale has experienced a dramatic upturn in form in recent weeks, scoring in each of his last four appearances across all competitions including two goals against Crystal Palace on Sunday night.
However, he has regularly been substituted midway through the second half of games – and Mourinho has explained why.
Speaking to Spanish outlet Diario AS, the Spurs boss revealed he and Bale speak during matches so that the Welshman can be taken off when his muscles are on the verge of straining.
“We have believed in him and trusted his ability to judge and analyse his body,” Mourinho said (as translated by Football Espana).
“We do not want him to accumulate high levels of fatigue. Thus, between minutes 55-60, we are already in contact and we try to understand each other.
“The plan is to get him off the field when he feel the first effects of muscle fatigue. In this case, we must be careful because we need him. it is so simple as that. He is giving us a lot.
“Gareth gives us a bonus. He could not start the season and now he plays like that for a couple of months. His quality is remarkable, he is a fantastic player.”
Mourinho’s revelation is good news and bad news for Spurs. It means that Bale is being honest with his manager, which means he is more likely to avoid injuries going into the run-in.
But it also means Bale may have to be taken off prematurely in crucial matches. Imagine, for instance, if Tottenham are behind at Arsenal this weekend and Bale is unable to stay on.
Time will tell if Mourinho is willing to risk leaving the 31-year-old on the pitch in that kind of scenario.