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Redknapp plays down Van der Vaart rift

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has moved to played down reports of a rift with midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart.

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Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has moved to played down reports of a rift with midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart.

The Dutchman was left out of Spurs 25-man squad list for the group stages of the Europa League after suffering a hamstring tear last month.

Redknapp initially feared the midfielder would face up to two months on the sidelines however, Van der Vaart expects to be fit to play against Liverpool on Sunday after visiting Dutch physio Dick van Toorn.

The player vented his frustration at not being included on his official website and Redknapp has taken steps to defuse the situation before it escalates further.

“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,” he 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.

“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.

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

“That was the only reason behind, 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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