Rafa reveals Spurs reality check

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Rafael Van der Vaart made it three goals in his last three Barclays Premier League outings when he kept his nerve to cooly convert from the penalty spot, giving Tottenham the lead in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Newcastle.

Reflecting on the game, the Dutchman concluded that a draw was probably a fair result, despite Spurs twice surrendering the lead in a thrilling second-half at St James' Park.

"We didn't play at our best and Newcastle are strong, especially at home, so it was a fair result," he said. "Newcastle scored a good equaliser, and that was a pity.

"Jermain scored a great goal and at that moment I thought we were going to win the game."


Asked about his penalty, Van der Vaart revealed that he felt a little more pressure than usual as he stepped up against a familiar face in Tim Krul, but was pleased to have come out on top in the battle of the mind games.

"There is always pressure when you take a penalty and I'm glad it went in because the goalkeeper is a Dutchman and he knows me well," he added. "I was happy to see it go in."

Both teams carved out plenty of chances to win the match in a free-flowing game that was based around exciting, counter-attacking football. And Van der Vaart said that both teams should be content with a share of the spoils .

"It was a good opportunity to win and get above Newcastle," he continued. "But in the end perhaps it was a fair result.

"The next league game is Blackburn and we'll be looking to get the three points again."

Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Rafael Van der Vaart
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