Sunderland’s Vaughan issues Bale warning

David Vaughan.

David Vaughan.

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DAVID VAUGHAN has warned that Wales team-mate Gareth Bale “never has off days” as Sunderland attempt to harness the Premier League’s star turn.

Bale’s 25 goals in all competitions for Spurs this season has seen him lift both the PFA and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year accolades.

Sunderland midfielder Vaughan, one of those to have voted for Bale in the PFA ballot, has seen at first-hand on international duty, the quality possessed by the winger.

And he expects a rough ride from Bale on Sunday, when Sunderland attempt to de-rail Tottenham’s Champions League hopes in the final game of the season.

Vaughan told the Echo: “He’s been outstanding this season.

“But playing with him for Wales, you can see how good he really is. He’s won a few games for us by himself.

“He’s got great technique and he’s a really powerful athlete as well. But he always seems to make an impact on games, which is something some players don’t always want to do or have off days.

“He never has off days.”

Vaughan insists Tottenham are not a one-man band and there is more to Andre Villas-Boas’ side than simply Bale.

But the 30-year-old compares the situation to Barcelona, where Lionel Messi provides the icing on the cake to an already accomplished side.

“Messi makes such a difference to their team, but they’ve still got great players,” said the former Blackpool man.

“Tottenham are the same in many aspects. They’ve got some really good players, but Gareth Bale makes a big difference.”

Although Sunderland’s Premier League status was assured by Wigan’s defeat at Arsenal in midweek, Vaughan is well aware of the importance of finishing the season on a positive note at White Hart Lane.

Last season, the campaign culminated in an eight-game winless streak after Martin O’Neill’s side had banished any relegation fears.

That flat finale rolled over into this season, with Sunderland winless in their opening four Premier League outings.

Vaughan added: “If we can finish this season on a high, then it’ll take us into next season and we can start on the front foot.

“We finished the season quite poorly last year and it dragged over into this season. It’s important to keep that belief going.”