Ryan Mason hailed “exceptional” Gareth Bale after the superstar came in from the cold to inspire Tottenham ’s comeback win.
The Welsh superstar – who’d played just 10 minutes of football since the international break under Jose Mourinho – was straight back in for Mason’s first game as interim boss.
He duly responded with a superb, 60th-minute strike to cancel out Danny Ings’ first half opener.
Mason said: “Gareth is an exceptional player who has had an excellent career.
“When you don’t have Harry Kane in the team you need someone who can produce moments like that in the final third.
“The quality of the finish was absolutely outstanding.
“When you want to go into a big game like the weekend it is always ideal to go into it on the back of a win. The manner of this win said a lot about the group.
“I am very proud of the effort and the commitment.”
Spurs now sit sixth in the table, just two points off the top four but having played a game more than the teams around them.
Son Heung Min grabbed a late penalty courtesy of VAR and Mason also revealed Kane is continuing his race against time to be fit for Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City.
The forward limped off with an ankle injury last Friday night after scoring twice in the 2-2 draw with Everton. Mason said: “With Harry it is just a case of taking each game as it comes. We all know he is doing everything he can to be back.
Southampton boss Ralph Hassehuttl admitted his 14th-placed side are suffering from a crisis of confidence after defeat made it 21 points dropped from winning positions this season – more than any other side.
Hassenhuttl said: “What do you want me to say? Tactics, whether we should change our shape? You can speak about anything.
“We try to keep the tempo high, we try to keep them away from our goal. Maybe we are tired. It was a combination of everything.
“It is not too easy to change things at the moment.”
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