- Premier League
Bale backs Tottenham to regroup
Gareth Bale has backed Spurs to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on Champions League football next season.
The Welsh winger, whose late strike in Tottenham's 1-0 win over Sunderland was not enough to lift Spurs above Arsenal on the final day of the Premier League season, is set to discuss his future with the club over the summer.
But while Bale admits missing out on a place among Europe's elite with Spurs next season is galling, the 23-year-old appears intent on staying at White Hart Lane.
"It was obviously great to sign off with a great goal in the last minute, but circumstances made it hard to celebrate," Bale told the club's official website.
"To play the way we have also but to miss out on our objective [Champions League qualification] is very disappointing."
Bale has been linked with a move to Europe this summer to further his Champions League ambitions, with Real Madrid a potential destination, but expressed his desire to be part of the Spurs side that challenges for top honours in 2014.
"We fought hard this season, the team and the manager have been great," he said. "We have got the record points for the club in the Premier League. That would normally be enough to qualify for the Champions League, but it's not meant to be again.
"It's disappointing, but we will pick ourselves up again. We will just have to regroup this season and give it another go."
Bale's 30-yard strike was his 31st goal of the season and another late match-winner.
"It was great to get the win but the clouds just came over and made it a little bit duller, but it's something we have to learn from, we are a young squad, and we will take it in to the future," he said.