Alan Hutton admits he was “gutted” Gareth Bale failed to score a late chance in his second debut for Tottenham against West Ham on Sunday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs defender and ex-teammate of the Welsh superstar believes the 31-year-old would have hit the back of the net had he been properly up to speed in his first appearance of the season.
A pass from Harry Kane released Bale in added time but his shot went just wide from 12 yards after he dribbled his way around defender Angelo Ogbonna.
Hutton suggests that a fully fit Bale would have been more clinical and insists that fans will have to be patient with him as he builds his way back up to peak condition.
Hutton told Football Insider: “I suppose he’s so high profile, it can be a little bit of a distraction. I was gutted for him when he missed – I was up out my seat going: ‘Just put it in, just put it in.’
“I think a 100 per cent fit Gareth Bale puts that in, in my opinion. I always find whenever I was a sub and I came on, it’s very difficult to get up to that tempo and that level, it takes a while.
“He only had, max, 20 minutes so we’ve seen a little glimpse of what he can do. I think the fans, everybody, will have to take their time with him.
“He’s not going to get back to what he was overnight, it’s going to take time, he’s going to have to build into it.
“You can’t just flick a switch and he’s back to his best. We’re going to have to be patient but I’m sure, the glimpses that we’ve seen, he’s very capable of that.”
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