Bale explains central move

Tottenham Hotspur left-winger Gareth Bale has spoken in detail about the reasons why he’s been playing more central in games recently.

The Welshman told Sky Sports: “I need to improve myself as a player and I spoke to the coaches at Tottenham about it. Being stuck outside is not good all the time. You need to mix your game up and give the opposition things to think about.

“It got to the stage last year when I was standing on the wing, playing well, with a lot of freedom, hurting teams and being targeted by defences.

“It was a case of teams putting two players on me, staying really tight and trying to mark me out of the game, which is quite easy to do when you’re stood right out there with not much room.

“So I’ve had to adapt my game. The full-backs can’t follow you inside and the strikers occupy the centre-backs, so it gives you that bit of space – if you get into lots of pockets you’re able to turn and run at defenders, it’s just as good as being on the wing.”

He added: “If I’m not getting the ball, I’m not helping the team. I want to be involved, get as much of the ball as I can, so that’s why I’ve had to go inside to be a positive influence on the game.

“The good thing about the gaffer [Harry Redknapp] is that if you’re good at something, he wants you to do it. He lets you express yourself.”