Tottenham now sit four points ahead of fifth place Arsenal following their Bale-inspired 2-1 win over Newcastle at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Spurs were in a much healthier position at this exact time last season. A 5-0 thumping of the Magpies at home kept Spurs in third place - some 10 points ahead of the Gunners - but their season soon began to unravel.
Speculation that Harry Redknapp was going to be appointed as England manager affected the squad, and the Londoners went on to record just four more wins, leaving them praying for a Bayern Munich win over Chelsea that did not materialise.
Spurs won four of their final 13 games the season before, again costing them a place in the Champions League, but Bale is determined for that not to happen again this term.
"In recent years we have kind of gone off the boil a little at this time of the season but I think the lads have got a lot more confidence," Bale said.
"We have learned from our mistakes from previous years and now we can be a lot stronger going in to the finishing end of the season so I hope we can do it."
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