Mason team talk key to Spurs victory, says Bale


Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - April 21, 2021 Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale in action Pool via REUTERS/Clive Rose

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale said caretaker manager Ryan Mason's halftime team talk had given them the platform to take control of Wednesday's Premier League game against Southampton and emerge with the 2-1 victory.

Mason, 29, was put in charge after Jose Mourinho was sacked on Monday but his stint at the helm looked set to start with a defeat as Danny Ings headed Southampton into a halftime lead.

However, Tottenham emerged for the second half looking much sharper and after Bale equalised Son Heung-min fired a late winner from the penalty spot.

"They came at us and pushed hard first half," Bale, who was restored to the starting line-up for the first time since mid-March, told Sky Sports. "We have only had a couple of days with the new manager to try to do a couple of things.

"We had a good chat at halftime. We had a few positional issues and needed to be more patient. It was a very good team talk. We came out in the second half, controlled the game, and deserved the victory."

The win lifted Tottenham up to sixth place on 53 points, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand. Bale said victory was vital as Spurs look to snatch a place in the top four and secure a Champions League spot next season.

"It was important," he said. "It gives us a chance of top four and we will fight until the end."

Tottenham, one of six English teams to have signed up for the breakaway Super League before withdrawing, next face Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday as they look to land their first major trophy since 2008.

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

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