Belfast Telegraph

Van der Vaart accepted sub role

Rafael van der Vaart bears no ill-feeling towards Harry Redknapp for starting him on the bench in Tottenham's 3-0 win over Bolton on Saturday.

Last weekend was only the second time Van der Vaart has started a game from the bench during his 49-match Tottenham career, with Redknapp preferring to partner Emmanuel Adebayor with Jermain Defoe up front due to the England striker's form and a hamstring niggle that has been troubling the Dutchman all season.

Despite being one of the club's leading performers this year, the former Real Madrid forward insists he understands why Redknapp did not pick him, and he told his official website: "I fully understand I had to start on the bench. I could only train once with the group."

He added: "Then there are some more players the manager can pick, so of course I had to start off the bench."

The 28-year-old, who aggravated the hamstring problem while on international duty last month, insists he is now fully fit and available for Sunday's game at Stoke.

He added: "With regards to my injury I can say it feels pretty well, up to 100% fit.

"I just have to keep up the hard work this week and hope I start (the) next game."


From Belfast Telegraph