Van der Vaart accepts sub role
Rafael van der Vaart understands why he was on the bench for Tottenham's win over Bolton and hopes to regain his place against Stoke.
Last Updated: 06/12/11 1:49pm
Rafael van der Vaart understands why he was on the bench for Tottenham Hotspur's win over Bolton Wanderers and hopes to regain his place against Stoke City.
The Dutch playmaker has been struggling with a hamstring niggle in recent weeks and Harry Redknapp opted to keep faith with Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor for the 3-0 success over Bolton.
Van der Vaart appeared as a substitute in the second half, but it was only the second time in his Spurs career that he had started a game on the bench.
Redknapp admitted afterwards that the former Real Madrid schemer was disappointed to miss out, but Van der Vaart has no quarrel with the decision.
"I fully understand I had to start on the bench," Van der Vaart told his official website.
"I could only train once with the group. 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 next game."