Wales boss insists Gareth Bale is 'the fittest I've seen him' since Tottenham move as star prepares for Ireland clash

WALES interim boss Rob Page has claimed Gareth Bale is 'the fittest he has seen him' ahead of their clash against the Republic of Ireland.

The Tottenham star was rested for the Dragons drab 0-0 friendly with the USA on Thursday so that the winger is fresh for Nations League duty.

Jose Mourinho made headlines after stating that he was uncomfortable with Bale going away with his country because Wales No2 Albert Stuivenberg also works for rivals Arsenal.

Bale, on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, has been building up his fitness with Spurs following a knee injury sustained in September.

And Wales interim boss Page has allayed Mourinho's fitness fears by claiming the 31-year-old is in top shape.

He said: "He's been brilliant all week, honestly.

He is probably the fittest I've seen him since I've been involved with Ryan [Giggs] and the first team. He is looking in great shape

"We talk about the senior lads all week, they drive the standards, and it's been no different.

"Even today, since we played the USA, the recovery days and session we had to day has been excellent and that's been driven by Gareth, by Ben [Davies], by Gunts [Chris Gunter], they have been first class.

"He is probably the fittest I've seen him since I've been involved with Ryan [Giggs] and the first team. He is looking in great shape."

Page also admitted that returning to Spurs after being frozen out at Real Madrid has helped Bale fall back in love with football again.

He added: "He looks to me like he's enjoying his football. He loves coming away with Wales. He absolutely loves it.

"As long as I've been involved he's never missed a camp other than the recent one [in October] through injury.

"He's first through the doors, loves being part of it and he has a spring in his step when he comes on camp and that's exactly what I've seen in the last couple of days.

"Now being at a place like Tottenham where he has a manager [Mourinho] that wants him there and wants him to play week in, week out, or they are building him up to that where he plays 90 minutes consistently.

"We've now got a player on our hands that has fallen back in love with the game and is enjoying his football. Hopefully we will reap the rewards of that as well."

Source: Read Full Article