Rafael van der Vaart delighted 'special manager' Harry Redknapp is staying at Tottenham

 

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.

"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 that we wanted to fight for him."

Spurs showed some of their old sparkle last night as they ran out ultimately convincing 4-1 winners at Bolton.

The victory, secured by goals from Luka Modric, Van der Vaart and a double from Emmanuel Adebayor, maintained Spurs' grip on fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.

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.

Should the Blues 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, said: "I hope my friends in Germany do a good job!

"We want to win every game now and we will see what happens.

"A win is always a medicine. When you win everybody is happy.

"We played a good home game against Blackburn [2-0 win on Sunday] which was important.

"Then we go to Bolton, where it is always difficult to win, and win 4-1 - the confidence is high. But the next game is going to be really difficult again."

Spurs' back-to-back victories over Blackburn and Bolton ended a run of three successive defeats to lift fans' spirits ahead of final games against Aston Villa and Fulham.

Yet Van der Vaart insists the team's disappointing form in the second half of the campaign has had little to do with the speculation concerning Redknapp's position.

He said: "The England situation wasn't a problem. We read the papers and knew he could go to the national team at the end of the season but for us it has not been a problem.

"Sometimes you just have bad luck - like losing the (FA Cup) semi-final against Chelsea with that goal that wasn't a goal.

"We have been unlucky and I hope the luck is back."

Redknapp will see some action at Euro 2012 after the BBC announced today the 65-year-old had accepted a role as a pundit for the tournament.

The Spurs boss is also assured of the continuing services of PFA Young Player of the Year Kyle Walker, after the 21-year-old right-back signed a new five-year deal at the club today.

PA

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