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‘Team player’ Bale says Tottenham can be ‘very competitive’ in title race

Brighton leave Gareth Bale unmarked in the box, and he nods home Sergio Reguilon's cross to reclaim Tottenham's lead.

Gareth Bale is a Tottenham Hotspur goal-scorer, and hero, once again.

[ MORE: Bale beats Brighton with first goal since Tottenham return ]

Seven and a half years after scoring his (no-longer) last goal for Tottenham, Bale added a tear-jerking first chapter in the tale of his return to White Hart Lane on Sunday. With his late, winning goal, Gareth Bale not only gave Spurs all three points from a tricky affair with Brighton & Hove Albion, but also propelled them into second place in the Premier League table.

With Bale still being eased back into first-team action as he regains fitness and sharpness, the 31-year-old was again left out of the starting lineup and came off the bench late in the second half. While some onlookers will question Jose Mourinho’s strategy regarding Bale’s arrival, Bale himself says he has no issue with playing any role, at any time, because that’s what “a team player” does — quotes from the BBC:

“It’s a great feeling. You just want to come on and do a job for the team. I worked for the team and was lucky enough to get the goal. It was obviously great play from Sergio Reguilon and I was in the right place at the right time. It’s nice to get off the mark.

“Everyone always talks about individuals but I’ve always said I’m a team player, I’d be happy coming on doing a job even if it’s defending. The most important thing is the collective.

“We are growing every game. Even if we make mistakes we are learning from them and we can only use that as a positive. I haven’t played a lot of football. I had a little problem with my knee so it’s taking a bit of time. I am working hard in training and when I get chances.”

In the context of the PL title race, Bale believes Spurs can be “very competitive,” though he’s not yet ready to label the side contenders or favorites just yet…

For Tottenham, being competitive in the context of who finishes the season as champions of the Premier League is all they can realistically ask for — to be the side with the chance of a lifetime if, or when, something exceedingly strange happens among the favorites.

Will it happen? To what degree is unknown, though “something strange” is always likely to occur. Can they capitalize? *shrug* Jury’s still out, very much out, all the way out.

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