Mourinho fears Bale setback with Wales

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LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has called on Wales to be cautious with Gareth Bale while he is on international duty, saying he fears the work the forward has done to get back to full fitness could be destroyed.

Bale started for Tottenham in their 3-1 win away to Ludgogorets in the Europa League on Thursday and looked as sharp as he has done since re-joining the club on loan from Real Madrid in September.

Tottenham, third in the Premier League, travel to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, before the international break.

Wales host the United States on Thursday in a friendly before Nations League matches against Ireland and Finland.

"He's a player that's had enough problems in the past. He's working so much and we all are working so much and so carefully with him that we don't want to destroy the work that everybody has been doing for the past couple of months," Mourinho said.

"Wales have two matches in the Nations League and I expect him to play but if they care as much about him as we do they have to manage the recovering periods.

"They have to manage how many days difference between one match and another, they have to manage the minutes that he plays and they should not let him get into fatigue levels."

With Wales coach Ryan Giggs absent because of assault allegations, his assistant coach Robert Page will take over with support from Albert Stuivenberg, who is part of the coaching set-up at Tottenham's north London rivals Arsenal.

Mourinho said the absence of Giggs makes him uncomfortable.

"I'm sorry about it because on the previous fixtures he called me, we spoke about Ben Davies -- not Gareth because Gareth was not there -- but we spoke about Ben Davies," Mourinho said. "This time the fact that one of the coaches is an Arsenal coach doesn't make me very comfortable.

"I think national teams should have coaches that work exclusively for them and not coaches that work for other clubs."

Tottenham will be without injured Erik Lamela for the trip to West Brom while they hope to have Sergio Reguilon available after illness this week.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)