Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp says getting tough with Gareth Bale has brought the best out of the flying Welshman.

Redknapp put the improvement in left-back Bale down to his refusal to keep pandering to the youngster's injury problems.

He said: "Gareth has become stronger. He's grown up and he's mentally tougher. I always felt he would get a little knock and limp off in training. He doesn't do that any more. Maybe it's because I said to the physio 'when he gets injured leave him on the floor. Don't keep running over to him'.

"He's now showing the ability I saw as a kid at Southampton. There can't be a better left-sided player anywhere. If he were English he'd be going to the World Cup."