Neville out to tame Bale
Toffees captain looking to shackle Spurs star
Last Updated: January 11, 2012 9:29am
Phil Neville: Will be looking to frustrate Bale when Everton visit Spurs
Harry Redknapp admits Everton defender Phil Neville could cause problems for Tottenham ace Gareth Bale when the two sides collide at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.
The same fixture last season saw Bale frustrated by the veteran Toffees stopper, who Redknapp unsuccessfully tried to prise away from Goodison Park and bring to Spurs last winter.
The Wales winger is among the most fouled players in the Premier League and saw four players incur bookings for challenges against him in Saturday's FA Cup third-round victory over Cheltenham.
Spurs boss Redknapp feels Bale's pace means he will always be picked out as a target by defenders but concedes Neville is more adept at dealing with him than most.
He told The Sun: "I am sure Phil Neville will give Gareth a dig or two on Wednesday. That is part of what you expect.
"No player played Bale better than Neville last season. I even tried to bring Neville to White Hart Lane but we couldn't make the transfer work.
"The problem for defenders is that Bale is just so quick running with the ball."
Neville believes Bale's game has come on leaps and bounds in the last year and knows Everton will have to work hard if they want to frustrate the 22-year-old.
He said: "When I was young, each year I was told 'You have to add something new to your game, improve five or 10 per cent if you can'.
"And in Bale I see a better player than the one from last season. He is adding things to his game and doing now what he wasn't 12 months ago.
"Teams have tried to block him on the flanks but he has started coming into the middle, scoring lots of goals. He is maturing into an outstanding left-winger, probably the best in the Premier League if not in Europe. We are going to have to be at our best to stop him."