Son Heung-min said he’s enjoying playing with Gareth Bale and he’s excited about his prospect of starting more after the pair inspired Tottenham to win a 4-1 Europa League win over Wolfsberger.
Since re-joining Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid, the Welsh forward has been having a rough time, but he returned to form on Thursday night, scoring a stunner as the men of Jose Mourinho put one foot in the next round.
Bale also gave Son the cross to score Tottenham’s opener, while Lucas Moura and Vinicius scored their Austrian opponents’ other goals in the team’s rout.
Son later admitted that after being given a rare start by Mourinho, who now has him in his first-team plans for Sunday’s crucial game with West Ham, he was pleased to see Bale playing.
‘I have a close friendship with him,’ said Son after the victory in Hungary, regarding Bale.
‘I’m very glad that he gets game-time and has scored a goal and got an assist. I enjoy playing with him, truly.’
In the meantime, Bale was pleased to be among the goals during a mostly disappointing second spell at Spurs that saw him struggling to make an impression on Mourinho’s squad.
‘We had the mentality of achieving as many targets as we could and gaining some confidence,’ he told reporters.
We haven’t won a lot lately, so it’s important to get a win to build confidence. This is, hopefully, the start of a good run.
‘It was nice [to score]. I just chopped it and hit it inside. To support the squad, it’s good to get on the scoresheet.
‘It’s great to get away with four goals. Winning a game by that margin is always good. We’re going to take the second leg as if it were 0-0.’
This season, Bale has struggled for minutes and relations between him and Mourinho seemed strained when last week the Spurs manager took exception to the 31-year-social old’s media post about his fitness.
Mourinho, however, was left pleased by Bale’s Thursday night success and flirted with the possibility of giving him just the third start of the season in the Premier League when they play West Ham this weekend.
“One of the reasons why he left the pitch at minute 64 was to try to make him available for the next match,” Mourinho said.
‘We managed to save him a few miles in the legs by getting him off at that minute. I know the match is at 12 o’clock on Sunday, but I think he has a chance to play the game.
He needed to play and not to play for 90 minutes.