Jose Mourinho hailed Gareth Bale after his winner against Brighton but insisted the Welshman wouldn’t be rushed into the Tottenham starting line-up.
Bale scored his first goal since returning to Spurs and his sharpness has clearly been improving.
But boss Mourinho will continue to use Europa League games to build up Bale’s fitness until he is ready to play 90 minutes’ of league action again.
He will start against Ludogorets Razgrad on Thursday but is not expected to play the whole game.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Mourinho said: “He doesn’t have 90 minutes of a Premier League match in his legs yet, so we are using the Europa League to complement his training process and some matches in the Premier League when we decide to play him.
“The normal tendency will be for him to be better and better and better.
“He will start again on Thursday and even in a Europa League match where the intensity is different than the Premier League, I will not play him for 90 minutes.
“I will always have this care with him until we feel that he’s ready.
“But today; great personality, great impact and a very important goal for us.”