Gareth Bale appeared to take a swipe at the cautious, negative play of Jose Mourinho's Tottenham in his post-match interview after a 2-1 win over Southampton.
Bale scored an exquisite strike on the hour mark as Spurs fought back from 1-0 down to earn three points in their first game since Mourinho was axed on Monday.
The Welsh winger had been out of the first XI at the end of Mourinho's reign, which was criticised by fans for its caution - with players also reportedly frustrated by the manager's negative tactics.
Bale confirmed that's what he saw as a key problem when asked what needed to change at the club in his post-match interview on Sky Sports.
"Just to be on the front foot a bit more," he replied. "We want to attack, we're a big team, we have great players."
:speaking_head: "Very good team talk at half-time."- Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 21, 2021
Gareth Bale reacts to winning in the first game under interim manager Ryan Mason pic.twitter.com/RGUWOT2xyJ
Bale also praised Ryan Mason - the 29-year-old who's taken temporary charge of the Tottenham team after Mourinho's sacking - for his half-time team talk and plan.
"Very good team talk at half-time," said Bale. "Came out, second half, and played really well."
Telling answer from Gareth Bale. What needed to change at Tottenham? "Be on the front foot a bit more. We're a big team, we have great players and we need to attack more." #mourinho- Phil Cadden (@pjcadden) April 21, 2021
Mourinho had seen his reputation with Spurs supporters plummet as he seemed reluctant to utilise several of the club's attacking talents, including Dele Alli and Bale.
The Welsh star had struggled when he initially returned to the club where he made his name from the Spanish giants. However he hit a purple patch for form, scoring 10 goals in all competitions - before Mourinho suddenly decided to use him almost exclusively from the bench.
Mourinho fanboys are in mud :joy::joy::joy:- Sibtain Qazalbash (@SIBTAINHAIDERQA) April 21, 2021
The result against Southampton was also notable as it was one in which Tottenham went a goal down, but fought back to earn a vital three points in their chase for the top four positions. Under Mourinho, Spurs had struggled to hold on to leads and dropped 18 points from winning positions this season.
Danny Ings put Southampton in front in the first half, however Bale equalised in style. Lucas Moura's shot was blocked by Mohammed Salisu inside the Saints' box when the ball broke to the 31-year-old. Bale took one touch, then curled a sublime shot into the corner of the net from a tight angle.
Son Heung-min then saw a finish ruled out by VAR, but the same system awarded Tottenham a penalty at the end of the game. Son made no mistake from the spot, to hand Mason victory in his first game in charge.
It had to be Gareth Bale to score the first goal under Ryan Mason pic.twitter.com/4jMXZVfjMW- Ethan (@thfcem) April 21, 2021
His second match will be a Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday and Bale will have high hopes of making the starting line-up under the new man in charge, after his man of the match display against Southampton.
Featured image credit: PA Images/Sky Sports
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