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Redknapp: Spurs only protecting key playmaker

Spurs boss provides clarification

By | 14th September 2011

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has played down talk of a rift with midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart following the Dutchman’s disappointment at being dropped from the club’s Europa League squad without notification.

The player stirred controversy in the British media yesterday by insisting that the Spurs should have consulted him before taking the decision, particularly given the manner in which he has quickly recovered from a recent injury.

However, Redknapp has moved to clear the air by assuring Van der Vaart that he only took the precaution of omitting the player from the club’s squad for the group stages based on the first diagnosis of the aforementioned injury.

“I spoke to the secretary Darren Eales and the first diagnosis on Rafa’s hamstring was that he would be out for six weeks – at least,” Redknapp told Sky Sports in response to reports that the player’s specialist Dick van Toorn has already declared him fit for the Spurs’ early kick-off against Liverpool on Sunday

The manager elaborated: “So we thought six weeks down the line, he misses the first four games, and we only have six games, so we thought there was not much point of putting him in. We might as well put in one of the other lads in who can play.

“The game that he would have come back for would have been the game out in Russia (against Rubin Kazan) and we thought it was bit of a long journey for him. We thought we would leave him out and if we get through the qualifying group, he can come back for the next stage – that was the reasoning behind it.”

In fact, to get his point across, Redknapp went as far as saying that even if Van der Vaart was part of the Spurs’ squad for the group stages, he would have been rested for tiring trips such as the one to Rubin Kazan due to his high value to the club.

“I wouldn’t have slapped Rafa out on that long journey probably anyway; he’s a very important player for us,” Redknapp concluded.

After an emphatic aggregate win over Scottish outfit Hearts in the qualifying round, the Spurs will kick-off their group stage experience with an away fixture against Greek side PAOK Saloniki.

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