Van der Vaart happy Harry's staying put

PA Sport

Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has hailed Harry Redknapp as a "special manager" and hopes he remains at White Hart Lane "as long as possible".

Redknapp this week learned he would not be succeeding Fabio Capello as England boss, despite being the long-time favourite, as the Football Association opted for Roy Hodgson.

Now the uncertainty over Redknapp's position is over, Van der Vaart wants the London club to secure his services long term. The Holland international said: "I am happy he is staying. He is doing a fantastic job here and it's important for any club that a manager stays as long as possible, especially here."

He continued: "It's his fourth season and every year he has done well, so I think everybody is happy about it. He is a special manager.

"He always gives you a lot of confidence and it is not as though he is on your case the whole time. He talks with the players so we are really happy with him, and you could see in the game last night (Wednesday) that we wanted to fight for him."

Spurs showed some of their old sparkle as they ran out ultimately convincing 4-1 winners at Bolton, with Van der Vaart on the scoresheet.

They lead fifth-placed Newcastle only on goal difference but are just a point behind Arsenal above them in a tight battle for Champions League qualifying places.

Van der Vaart said: "We look to Arsenal - we were 10 points ahead, now we are one down, but anything is possible. As long as we win, I have a feeling we will be in the Champions League."

Yet despite moving four points clear of Chelsea, the Stamford Bridge club remain a serious threat to Tottenham's Champions League bid because if they finish outside the top four but win this year's competition by beating Bayern Munich in the final later this month, they will take the berth normally given to fourth place.

Van der Vaart, 29, added: "I hope my friends in Germany do a good job!"

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