Redknapp backs Van der Vaart

BY foxsports • February 6, 2011

Van der Vaart scored one spot-kick and then missed another in the course of 60 frantic seconds at White Hart Lane on Saturday. To cap a surreal afternoon for the Dutchman he was then substituted at half-time with a calf injury which will keep him out of Holland's friendly against Austria in midweek. Redknapp, however, has no intention of changing his penalty taker, even though Tottenham have missed five out of 11 penalties this season. Redknapp said: "It's difficult to know who can take them. (Roman) Pavlyuchenko has missed. People seem to miss more penalties than they used to. "There's more pressure and the keepers are sharp and quick. It's not like a gimme any more." Van der Vaart converted the first spot-kick with aplomb after Kevin Davies handled the ball. The second one, awarded by referee Mark Clattenburg when Sam Ricketts was adjudged to have brought down Aaron Lennon, had to be retaken after Van der Vaart had again hit the target, but players had encroached into the area. This time he put it wide. Redknapp, however, never considered a change. He said: "I wouldn't have wanted to take him off it having taken the first two. He's such a confident boy, if I'd taken him off it and stuck (Jermain) Defoe on it he might have missed. "Rafa takes the penalties. We haven't got a lot of penalty takers. You wouldn't have the back four taking them, nor JJ (Jermaine Jenas), Wilson (Palacios), Lennon, (Peter) Crouch, it's hard to find. "Rafa's the obvious choice really. You'd think Defoe would be but he's missed a lot. "They've all got the technique but it's a different thing when you are doing it under pressure. Go and play golf and imagine doing it in the Open, it's a different game, isn't it? "We can all walk up in training and do it. When England have failed (Frank) Lampard's missed, (Steven) Gerrard's missed, all those people you would put your life on. "Rafa's got great technique, so has Defoe." The injury to Van der Vaart is a worry with AC Milan coming up in the Champions League a week on Wednesday and with Gareth Bale still injured and Luka Modric recovering from an appendix operation. Redknapp believes the extra workload on Van der Vaart is responsible for his injury. Redknapp, who cannot work with his squad until next Friday because of international commitments, said: "He covered amazing distance at Blackburn in midweek, more than anyone on the pitch and he did a job wide right. "Maybe it took a toll on him. Three games in a week, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, may be more than he's used to. "That's when he gets fatigued and picks up injuries. He's not fit to travel, he's really sore. We'll see how he is next week, but I don't see any of the players until Friday morning, it's crazy isn't it?" Redknapp, however, was delighted with the three points gleaned against Bolton, courtesy of a spectacular injury-time strike by substitute Niko Kranjcar, who has struggled to break into the starting line-up this season. At the final whistle, the Croatian, who came on for Wilson Palacios after 77 minutes with the score 1-1 following Daniel Sturridge's equaliser, blasted the ball into the crowd and marched down the tunnel, looking anything but euphoric. However Redknapp said: "Those Croatian guys are a different breed, they're fantastic fellas. "He's (Kranjcar) not knocked on my door once. He's just got on with it. He's been brought up with football. His dad was a top player and is manager of Montenegro now. "I've got a great relationship with the lad and after the game it was probably a bit of relief for him to be back playing."

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