Bale vows to improve
Tottenham winger Gareth Bale insists he will not rest on his laurels after receiving the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award.
The 21-year-old was voted as the country's best player this season by his peers after a string of superb performances for Spurs in the Barclays Premier League and the Champions League. Bale was shortlisted alongside six others for the top award, with Samir Nasri of Arsenal second in the ballot and Manchester City's Carlos Tevez finishing third.
"I want to reach as high as I can really," he said. "Obviously it is a massive honour to even be on the list on that trophy and only the fourth from Tottenham. It is massive and I want to try and build on this now and hopefully get better and better."
He added: "I think I've still got a lot to improve on. I am still only 21 and I still have a lot to learn, a lot to take on board.
"I think if I keep working hard in training and games, which I am going to do, then hopefully I can keep improving and getting better."
The award marks an incredible turnaround in fortunes for Bale, having struggled with form and injuries after his big-money move from Southampton in 2007.
The winger admitted his rapid change in fortunes has been a bit of a surprise but insisted it is evidence of what hard work and belief can do.
"I have always believed in myself that I was capable and it has happened in such a short space of time, which is a bit strange," he added. "I kind of try and take it in my stride, try and take each day as it comes and just work hard on the football pitch.
"I started off well at Tottenham but obviously then I got an injury and was out for eight months. Getting back from that was difficult and then obviously finding my form took a little while and then I was picking up little niggles here and there.
"Not being able to get into the team was frustrating but I think at the end of the day if you believe in yourself and you keep working hard you can reach where you want to reach."