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Bale took himself off at half-time against Stoke, says Mourinho

Gareth Bale - Tottenham
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The Welshman returned to familiar surroundings in a bid to revitalize his career but injury problems remain a stumbling block for him.

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Gareth Bale did not return to the pitch in the second half of Tottenham’s 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Stoke City, and Jose Mourinho has revealed that it was the player’s own decision rather than a tactical change.

The 31-year-old forward imposed himself upon the game by opening the scoring midway through the first half.

Ben Davies and Harry Kane also got on the scoresheet in the second half to ensuring Spurs progress through to the semi-finals of this season’s Football League Cup.

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With one key pass made, two duels won, 34 touches, and a spectacular headed goal against the Potters, Bale put up one of his better performances ever since his return from Real Madrid on a season-long loan.

However, it appears the Welshman cannot catch a break as fear of a potential injury prevented him from continuing after the break.

“Yeah, was his decision,” Mourinho said on Bale’s second-half absence in his post-match press conference, via Football London. “Something he felt in the last part of the first half and he didn’t want to come out before the second half so he stayed.

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“While he was walking to the dressing room he told me immediately that he couldn’t come for the second half.

“I don’t know,” Mourinho responded when asked about the nature of the player’s injury. “Something I think with calf. I’m not sure as at that time I just want to reorganize the team and make the change.”