Football

Gareth Bale hails interim Spurs boss Ryan Mason’s team talk

Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale said caretaker manager Ryan Mason's half-time team talk helped them to come from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

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 gave the Saints a half-time lead in the English Premier League game.

But Spurs emerged for the second half looking much sharper.

After Bale equalised, Son Heung-min fired a last-minute winner from the penalty spot.

"They came at us and pushed hard (in the) 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 half-time. 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 Spurs up to sixth place on 53 points, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

It also gave Mason a match to prepare for Sunday's League Cup final against Manchester City, where Spurs get a chance to end a 13-year trophy drought.

When Mason leads Spurs out at Wembley, it will be another remarkable chapter for him after having to retire aged just 26 due to a fractured skull, an injury which almost killed him, while playing for Hull City.

"When you go into a big game like Sunday, it is always ideal to go into it with a win," he said.

"I thought the manner in which we won the game says a lot about the group, the belief, the commitment, the energy. It was outstanding in the second half and I am very proud of the group for the effort they showed."

Mason will be hoping that talismanic striker Harry Kane recovers in time from an ankle injury.

The England captain missed the win over Southampton after picking up an injury in last week's 2-2 draw with Everton - Mourinho's last game before his dismissal. - AFP, REUTERS

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