Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says he cannot just give Gareth Bale minutes on the pitch, insisting he has to earn them.
Bale has yet to make a major impact since re-joining Spurs on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.
Hampered by illness and injury, his appearances in the Premier League have been limited although he has featured more regularly in the Europa League. He also came on as a substitute in the 5-0 win against Marine in the FA Cup third-round on January 10.
Mourinho insisted earlier this month there had not been any discussion about Bale's future at the club after reports emerged suggesting the club will not look to keep him on next season.
The Portuguese says Bale could play in Monday's FA Cup tie at Wycombe Wanderers but he insists every minute on the pitch has to be earned.
"I cannot give players minutes, minutes on the pitch is not something I can give, so I'm not going in this direction," he said.
"We all know the difficulties he had for a couple seasons, we all know that he arrived injured, we all know that even this season (has been) a little bit up and down with small things.
"The most important thing for him is to be consistent, training without any problems and when a player is consistent in training, high intensity without any kind problems then the player is ready.
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"Not to be given minutes, but is ready to earn minutes, and that for me is a difference.
"This week he is working every minute like everybody else at a good intensity and let's see the way that he reacts to the accumulation of that kind of work and let's see how he reacts by the end of the week.
"The match (against Wycombe) is Monday and we still have training sessions to evaluate that. It is also about his confidence. If he feels that the week that he's had has had a positive impact on him and, on his confidence, he will play."