Jose Mourinho revealed that Gareth Bale told him he did not feel he could play in the second half at Stoke.
Bale was substituted at half-time at the Bet 365 Stadium, where Tottenham’s 3-1 win secured a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
The Welshman scored the second goal for Spurs but told boss Mourinho after the half-time whistle that he needed to come off.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Mourinho said: “It was his decision. It was something he felt in the last part of the first half.
“He didn’t want to come off before (the end of) the first half but while he was walking to the dressing room he told me immediately that he couldn’t come out for the second half.”
Mourinho added that he was unsure what the nature of Bale’s problem was.
“I don’t know. Something I think in his calf,” the Portuguese said.
“I’m not sure because at that time I just want to reorganise the team and make the change.”
Mourinho felt his side could have done more with the possession they had.
He said: “In the first half we were dominant but weren’t intense or aggressive enough to score more goals.”