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Premier League

Gareth Bale aims cheeky jibe at Real Madrid as Tottenham loanee says he plays well when he’s happy

GARETH BALE has insisted that he plays well when he’s ‘happy’, after scoring a hat-trick in Tottenham’s 4-0 demolition of Sheffield United on Sunday evening.

The Welshman also insisted that Spurs are ‘playing more like the Tottenham way’.

Gareth Bale bagged an excellent hat-trick
The Welshman was in excellent spirits after the game

Bale, 31, has been a peripheral figure at times this season – and missed out on Ryan Mason’s starting XI for last week’s Carabao Cup final.

But he was back with a bang against the Blades, smashing home a superb hat-trick, after being assisted twice by Serge Aurier.

And following the game, the Real Madrid loanee was in excellent spirits, telling Sky Sports: “It’s always nice to get another hat-trick and another match ball.

“I remember my last hat-trick – Villa away I think. It was a while ago and it’s nice to get a hat-trick, but more importantly it’s three points for the team and we move on to the next one.

“It was a great performance by everyone especially Serge. I said if it was three assists he could have the match ball.

“Winning always makes everyone happy and gives a winning mentality to the dressing room. It’s not going to happen overnight but I feel like we’re taking a step in the right direction.

“Obviously you have to take your chances when they come, and thankfully I had a few tonight. I’m feeling good.

“As I’ve said before I just needed to play games and get a run of games and I’m doing that now, so I’m happy and when I’m happy I normally play well.

Bale, 31, was restored to Ryan Mason’s starting XI

Bale scored in his last Premier League hat-trick against Aston Villa in December 2012

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“It was a great performance by the team. From the first whistle I felt we were on the front foot and got control of it and played some good football.

“I feel like we are taking a step in the right direction and playing more like the Tottenham way.”

Boss Mason, 29, was pleased with ‘world-class’ Bale’s ‘attitude, adding: “I said all along Gareth hasn’t and won’t lose that ability in the final third to produce moments of excellence.

“He’s a world-class player – he’s proved that over many years. The most pleasing thing about him tonight was his attitude, his running for the team.”

But asked about whether Bale’s long-term future lies in North London, Mason was non-committal, replying: “I think that is a discussion once the season is done. Our priority is the next game.”

Spurs’ win takes them up to fifth place – five points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League position with four matches remaining.

Spurs’ No9 produced three fantastic finishes

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