Gareth Bale has told Tottenham fans he will need time to settle back into life in north London, after a somewhat indifferent start to his second spell at the club.
Bale, who left Spurs back in 2013 for a then world record fee of £85m, sealed a sensational return to the club after completing a summer loan move from Real Madrid, amid strained relations with the Spanish media, fans, and boss Zinedine Zidane.
The 31-year old was given a hero's welcome when he completed his return, but his second coming has already endured a difficult start.
His second debut for the club from the bench saw Spurs squander a 3-0 lead at home to London rivals West Ham United - a player which prompted the Spanish media to declare the player 'cursed'.
However, boss Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of the Welshman, and handed the winger his first start during the Europa League win over LASK.
The support of his manager could well be crucial over the coming weeks, with Bale himself admitting he will need time to get up to speed again in the Premier League having recently been so starved of first team action in the Spanish capital.
“It’s great to be back, especially starting a game. It has been a while for me, at club level," Bale said.
“It’s going to take me a little bit of time to get my match fitness and sharpness going.
“It’s just another game towards the process of getting fitter, sharper, quicker.
“I just enjoyed being out there playing football — that’s what makes me happy."
Plenty of eyes will be on the former Southampton starlet over the coming weeks, with many Spurs fans surely hoping Bale can display the sort of form he displayed during his first dazzling spell with the club.
However, Bale himself is clearly taking nothing for granted in terms of game time, and insists there is plenty of competition for places all over the park.
“We definitely have a lot of strength in depth and a lot of great players but we’re in a lot of competitions," he added.
“It’s one of those strange seasons when there hasn’t been much preparation beforehand — and we’re going to need everyone throughout the whole season.
“But it’s a great squad to be in, with, as I said, a lot of strength in depth and great players.
“Hopefully, we will keep pushing each other on and we can achieve what we want.”