Ryan Mason has revealed that Gareth Bale felt it was best for him and his body not to start in Tottenham’s game against Aston Villa.
A regular in the side in recent weeks after Mason was appointed interim head coach following Jose Mourinho’s exit, there were question marks over the Welshman starting this evening after playing nearly all of Sunday’s win at Wolves.
Bale’s absence from the Spurs XI handed Steven Bergwijn a rare opportunity in the side after falling out of favour in the final few months of Mourinho’s tenure, with Harry Winks replacing Giovani Lo Celso in midfield in the team’s only other change.
Speaking ahead of the crucial game as they look to put themselves in the strongest position possible for a Europa League spot going into the final match of the season away at Leicester City, Mason opened up on Bale and the conversation he had with him.
“Gareth played the best part of 90 minutes at the weekend, the most he’s played all season in the Premier League,” he told Sky Sports ahead of the game.
“Gareth is an experienced man and he knows his body. We spoke and he felt it was best for him and his body not to start today. That’s all there is.
“The players who have come in are ready to come in, and there’s also players on the bench who have been training well and are ready also.”
The main talking point heading into the Aston Villa game has been about Harry Kane’s future amid reports that he has asked to leave the club this summer.
After answering numerous questions about his good friend in his pre-match press conference, Mason was again quizzed on the club’s main man.
“No one has said it’s Harry’s last game here, it’s our last game of the season here, so we want a performance and three points for our fans and to put us in a good position for the weekend as well,” he said.
“It’s been no distraction because it’s all speculation. Harry has not come out and said anything just yet, so it’s not been a distraction.
“The only focus from me and the players has been on the game tonight and nothing will change that.
“There’s been speculation around managers, the Super League, there’s also been the stuff that happened a couple of days ago.
“It’s normal when you’re at a club like this. The players are professional and we have to prepare for a game – and we have done.”
Source by Football London