Joe Hart believes the Tottenham Hotspur players “always knew it was going to be a project” with Gareth Bale to get him fit and firing again for the club. The Welshman’s return to his old club on loan from Real Madrid has not gone as planned so far, despite four goals in 13 appearances. The 31-year-old arrived at Tottenham with a knee injury sustained on international duty and missed the first month of the season. His return to action since has mostly involved starts in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions and he suffered a calf injury that kept him out for a month. Bale’s first start of 2021 came on Monday night in the FA Cup at Championship side Wycombe Wanderers and after Jose Mourinho had said the player needed to go a full week in training without problems, the winger managed his first full 90 minutes since returning to the club. Bale showed glimpses of his old self in the match, scoring Tottenham’s equaliser before the break, and Hart said afterwards that everyone at the club knew it would be a process for the Wales international.
Joe Hart said “We always knew it was going to be a project with him and he fully understands that, He’s here to help the team win and he’s demonstrated that on the pitch tonight and on a few other occasions. He’s also doing it behind the scenes. Gaz’s obviously had his injuries but he knows how to look after himself and when he’s fit he’s going to help our team. [It’s] as you’d expect. He’s been there and done it. For a club trying to do things, I think it’s important to have guys that have been there and won and can reference what it takes. We talk about it a lot but we’re a team that wants to win. There’s two teams winning a lot – Manchester City and Liverpool – and there’s seven or eight of us trying to win. So we’ve got to find different ways of winning.”
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