Redknapp plays down Rafa rage

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Football News

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has dismissed talk of a feud between the club and playmaker Rafael Van der Vaart.

The Dutch international has been omitted from the club's Europa League squad, which kicks-off Thursday night against PAOK in Greece, on account of injury after original medical advice claimed the player would be out for around six weeks with a hamstring problem picked-up in the defeat against Manchester City.

However, a rapid recovery has meant Van der Vaart is now expected to be available for selection this weekend against Liverpool, and the player admitted his annoyance at being left out of the European fold on his own personal website.

"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," the Spurs boss told Sky Sports News.

"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 and we thought it was bit of a long journey for him. I wouldn't have slapped Rafa out on that long journey probably anyway; he's a very important player for us."

Redknapp has previously voiced his frustrations over the long journeys that await in the Europa competition, and is set to offer first team opportunities to a handful of youth players, including striker Harry Kane.

Senior players in the squad are likely to join Van der Vaart in being rested for the competition, although Redknapp admits he will happily call the 28-year-old back into the fold at the later stages should Spurs progress.

"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," he admitted.

"That was the only reason behind it, he was away in Holland having treatment. I would have sent him a carrier pigeon with a message, but I didn't feel it was that important."

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Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Rafael Van der Vaart

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