Soccer-Spurs' Mourinho hails Bale after Cup win at Wycombe


Soccer Football - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Wycombe Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur - Adams Park, High Wycombe, Britain - January 25, 2021 Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho heaped praise on Gareth Bale after the Welsh winger scored in Monday's 4-1 victory at Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round.

Bale started for the first time since Dec. 23 and netted the equaliser in first-half stoppage time after Fred Onyedinma had given the Championship (second-tier) side a shock lead.

Bale, 31, has struggled for form and fitness but looked sharp in completing his first 90 minutes since returning on loan from Real Madrid.

"He was good. Good movements, one against one, beating people, attacking, creating chances, scoring a goal," Mourinho told reporters.

"I never felt he could not play 90 minutes, I never felt I needed to change him."

Mourinho made 10 changes to the side that beat Sheffield United in their last game but brought on first-team regulars Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Tanguy Ndombele as they chased the win in the second half.

Harry Winks put Spurs ahead in the 86th minute before Ndombele struck twice to book their spot in the fifth round.

Mourinho said Spurs would not sacrifice the Europa League or cup competitions despite a crowded fixture schedule and were determined to compete in all competitions.

"Even when we had to play four matches in one week and people thought we were going to give away Europa League or Carabao Cup we didn't," Mourinho told BBC. "Today we brought the whole squad -- only Hugo Lloris stayed at home.

"February we have to play three competitions with FA Cup and then Europa League. Of course it will be very hard but we have to try."

Spurs are fifth in the Premier League with 33 points from 18 games and host champions Liverpool on Thursday.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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