Jose Mourinho says Gareth Bale looks “happier than ever” as the Wales international continues his resurgence at Tottenham.
Bale’s Spurs homecoming looked like falling flat after a tough first few months back in north London where he was dogged by fitness issues on the back of barely playing for Real Madrid in recent seasons.
But he is starting to show there is still plenty of life in his legs with a string of positive performances and two impressive goals in the recent Europa League tie with Austrian side Wolfsberger.
“I think the mental is always a consequence of the physical,” said Mourinho.
“If a player feels great, if he is playing 100 per cent and if the feelings are all good, there are no psychological problems or fears or barriers.
“When you have little worries and especially when you have a recent history of injuries, it’s normal to have some fears and these fears have a consequence. But lately he has been fine.
“It’s just a question of how many minutes he can play and how many days he needs to recover between matches.
“He looks happier than ever, he looks confident. In training, you can see he has his confidence back, the way he hits his shots.
“You could see from his goal on Wednesday. It was a confident shot. A player with fear or negative feelings would never have hit that type of shot. To strike the ball that way, I think that strike means a lot.
“It means freedom in relation to the brain muscle. For this, you need to be in a good condition. He is in the best condition since he arrived.”
There have been times where Bale would often make himself unavailable, irking Mourinho earlier this month when he pulled out of the FA Cup trip to Everton despite posting a picture on Instagram suggesting he had enjoyed a good training session.
Mourinho insists that Bale knows his body better than anyone and managing him properly could see him have a telling impact as the season hits the crucial part.
“He is a player with a lot of experience and a player with a lot of experience, they know their body better than anyone,” said Mourinho.
“There is no coach, no fitness coach, no sports scientist, no medical that knows better than a very experienced player, especially a player who had years of small problems, bigger problems, but situations that have had an influence and an impact on the past couple of years of his career.
“And we trust him. We trust his experience and analysis. And everything with him is done with a great participation of everyone. Because everyone wants the best for him because in the end, the best for him is the best for Tottenham.
“So to have him giving us important contributions is doing that bit by bit. Of course, we want that in a more continuous way.
“Of course we have very important Premier League matches, a crucial final, and crucial every minute of every game in the Europa League, so the more that we have Gareth, a player with his quality and confidence and experience and his know-how of big moments, the better.
“So we have to be careful and trust a player with a lot of experience.”
Mourinho said he was wrong to blame Eric Dier’s poor form on a crisis of confidence after the defender said he is not struggling psychologically.
Dier has been at fault for several goals conceded during an alarming set of Premier League results that has seen Spurs fall out of top-four contention.
Mourinho believed the 27-year-old, who he regards as a key player at the club, had seen his confidence knocked.
But the England defender disputed that idea this week saying “confidence-wise, I don’t feel I have been in a bad place all season”.
Responding to Dier’s latest comments, Mourinho said: “I prefer that I’m wrong.
“I prefer that it has nothing to do with a little bit of low confidence. I prefer players with big personalities.
“It’s a little bit like a player who misses two penalties in a row and he still has the confidence to be the penalty-taker, and on the third penalty, he gets the ball and goes to try again.
“I’m very happy it’s not a mental situation or a psychological situation. I’m really, really happy with that.”