By Danny Mills

20th Feb, 2021 | 8:00pm

Rubbish - Danny Mills baffled by Gary Neville's bizarre criticism of Gareth Bale

Danny Mills has defended Gareth Bale’s body language after Gary Neville claimed he was “wound up” by the Tottenham winger’s touchline antics.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England defender admitted Bale’s performances have not been up to scratch but that does not mean he has to act differently.

Mills’ former England teammate Neville said on Sky Sports‘ Monday night football Bale smiling while on the bench had annoyed him all season.

Bale has started just two Premier League games this season but has made five further appearances from the bench.

Asked what he made of Bale’s body language while on the bench, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “You’re on the bench what do you want him to do? Cry? Be miserable? Everyone would then say ‘he’s not happy, look at his body language – it’s not good – he’s causing problems.’

“What are you supposed to do? You’re sat in the stand, watching the game. One of the lads says something funny, what are you going to do? Not laugh? He can’t have a smile at some point?

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“I don’t always buy into that. His performances haven’t been great and they need to improve, that’s for definite.

“I don’t think you can pay an awful lot of attention to his body language when he’s sat in the stands. This is not the Roy Keane, Gary Neville days when it was ultra-serious and if you were caught smiling it meant you didn’t care.

“Players want to play first and foremost if they’re not they’re not happy but it doesn’t mean they have to walk around with a sour face on 24/7.”

In other news, Tottenham are pursuing Brendan Rodgers nine years after he was Daniel Levy’s “preferred choice”.