Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Bale enjoys Saints return

Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale prepares to throw his shirt into the crowd at St Mary's

Gareth Bale enjoyed Sunday's trip to his old stomping ground as Tottenham held firm to repel a Southampton comeback.

The 23-year-old came through the youth system at St Mary's and made 45 appearances for the south coast club before joining Spurs in July 2007. Bale netted the opener on his first return to the Saints and the Welshman was pleased with the way Andre Villas-Boas' side held on for a 2-1 victory.

"It was great to come back and it was obviously great to get back on the scoresheet," Bale said. "I thought I best keep my celebrations to a minimum in a show of respect to the club. I think they came out in the second half fighting. They knew they had to bring the game to us and had nothing to lose really."

He added: "They made it difficult for us in the second half and played some good football but we showed our character.

"We hung in there and got the three points we needed. I think the main thing for us is to take it one game at a time. We're enjoying our football now and we're on a good run so it is good times but we just need to keep our feet on the ground and move forward."

Mousa Dembele and Emmanuel Adebayor both missed the win with respective hip and back injuries.

Both are doubts for Wednesday's Capital One Cup clash at Norwich, with assistant manager Steffen Freund revealing that Adebayor is now also suffering from a stomach bug.

He said: "Mousa Dembele is injured. Adebayor came in sick today and we need to see how he is tomorrow.

"I can't say at the moment which team will travel but it will be a strong one."

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