Gareth Bale: Tottenham star ready for 'massive' week in season

Tottenham's Gareth Bale is congratulated by Jermain Defoe

Forward Gareth Bale says Tottenham are confident ahead of an important week in the fight for a Champions League spot.

Bale, 23, scored a stunning late winner against his former club Southampton to keep Spurs very much in the hunt.

Wednesday's trip to fourth-placed Chelsea is likely to prove pivotal, and Bale says the squad are well prepared.

"It is a massive game, but every game is massive," he said. "Every game is a cup final now so we have to prepare, be confident and give everything."

Saturday's win capped a remarkable week for Bale, who won the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards as well as the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year prize.

With the battle for the top four Premier League places hotting up, it also kept Spurs within two points of third-placed Arsenal, and trailing Chelsea on goal difference.

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"I saw the space open up and got a good strike away - it is a massive three points and keeps our Champions League hopes alive," said Bale, who becomes the first Tottenham player since Jurgen Klinsmann in 1994-95 to register 20 league goals in a season.

Spurs boss Andre Villa-Boas described the goal as "a great moment of individual brilliance".

"We are fortunate to have him playing at this level and enjoying his football. If we continue to do our job, hopefully with three more games we are there," he said.

"We have a difficult week, with Chelsea and Stoke away, but at the moment we are in the frame like everyone else."

The plaudits kept coming for Bale as captain Michael Dawson was asked if the Welshman's exploits were a surprise to him.

"Not any more," said Dawson. "He is fantastic, everyone is talking about him. They were playing better than us but you win games when you have magic in your team."

"We knew we had to win, we know it will go down to the last few games but we have set Wednesday up. We have three cup finals."

Tottenham legend Ricky Villa, who was in the stands on Saturday, not only expects Bale to stay at White Hart Lane, but also to go on to become one of the world's best players.

"Brilliant, brilliant," enthused Villa. "He is a different class and has a great future. I expect him to stay at the club for one or two more years.

"Glenn Hoddle was a really great player, but Bale is younger and can improve and I expect him to become one of the top players in the world."

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