• Premier League

Bale driven on by Champions League pain

ESPN staff
May 8, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Tottenham talisman Gareth Bale has admitted the agony of missing out on the Champions League last season will act as his inspiration in Wednesday night's vital clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Spurs were denied a place in this season's Champions League despite finish fourth in the Premier League, after Chelsea's Champions League triumph gave them the final spot open to English clubs, and forced Tottenham to play in the Europa League.

Now Bale is urging his team-mates to remember the pain they felt a year ago as they look to win their final three Premier League fixtures of this season and guarantee a second successive top four finish.

"I think I was more annoyed than anything else watching that Champions League final and seeing all our hard work wasted," Bale is quoted in The Sun .

"I thought Bayern Munich battered Chelsea, but it was one of those nights which you couldn't control. What happened has driven us on and we've used that as an incentive this year.

"If we win all our games there's nothing which can stop us qualifying, so it's up to us. We've had a taste of the Champions League before and I know how much everyone wants it. We need to keep our focus on what needs to be done and finish the job off."

Bale accepts his side will face a severe test of their Champions League credentials at Stamford Bridge, but he appears to be relishing the challenge of trying to overcome one of Europe's most successful clubs from the last decade.

"I've never won at Stamford Bridge, a draw is the best I've done, so it's time we had a win there," he added.

"Chelsea are a massive club, one of the best. They have won titles and the Champions League and they want to be in it again as much as anybody.

"They have signed some great players and have a very good team. We know it's going to be difficult to beat them on their home ground but we've definitely got the team that can do that."

Meanwhile fresh reports have suggested Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has vowed to hang on to Bale despite high profile interest this summer, even if his side are playing Europa League football once again next season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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