Bale: I would rather dive than get hurt

TOTTENHAM winger Gareth Bale insists his growing reputation as a diver is undeserved but admits he would rather make the most of a potentially dangerous challenge than suffer a serious injury as a result of attempting to stay on his feet.

The Wales international, the only player in the Premier League to be booked twice for simulation this season, won a debatable penalty in Wednesday’s FA Cup win over Stevenage, whose defender Mark Roberts claimed Bale had “gone down too easily”.

Bale responded, saying: “I try not to get in the way of tackles and if people want to say I’m diving then they can but I’m trying to get out of the way and save myself.

“Sometimes it looks like you’re diving but if someone’s coming across you, you try to get out of the way. I’d rather dive — meaning get out of the way — than get hurt.”

Meanwhile, defender Michael Dawson has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.