Push for Champions League spot is gathering pace thanks to Bale

Gareth Bale is confident that Tottenham’s push for the Champions League will not fade like it did last season.

Tottenham now sit four points ahead of fifth place Arsenal following their Bale-inspired 2-1 win over Newcastle at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Spurs were in a much healthier position at this exact time last season. A 5-0 thumping of the Magpies at home kept Spurs in third place – some 10 points ahead of the Gunners – but their season soon began to unravel.

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Speculation that Harry Redknapp was going to be appointed England manager affected the squad, and the Londoners went on to record just four more wins, leaving them praying for a Bayern Munich win over Chelsea in the thrilling 2012 final that did not materialise.

Spurs won four of their final 13 games the season before, again costing them a place in the Champions League, but Bale is determined for that not to happen again this term.

“In recent years we have kind of gone off the boil a little at this time of the season but I think the lads have got a lot more confidence,” said Bale.

“We have learned from our mistakes from previous years and now we can be a lot stronger going in to the finishing end of the season so I hope we can do it.”

Had Bale not performed as he has been doing recently, Tottenham would be well off the pace for Champions League qualification this time around.

The Wales winger scored a crucial equaliser against Norwich last week and followed it up by hitting the winner in Spurs’ 1-0 win at West Brom four days later.

One week on it was the same story again, although this time he hit two superb strikes – a marvellous free-kick and a breathtaking solo effort – to grab the three points against the Magpies.