Rafael plays down sub row

Dutch star unconcerned over substitution spat against Hammers

Van der Vaart: Has played down row

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Rafael van der Vaart insists any issues between himself and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp will have 'blown over' by the time he returns from international duty.

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The Holland midfielder was not happy at being substituted during the goalless draw against West Ham on Saturday, heading straight down the tunnel rather than watching the rest of the match.

Redknapp was less than impressed by the 28-year-old's actions, claiming in his post-match interview: "If you are part of a team you should stay to watch the rest of the game."

The substitution marked the 17th time this season Van der Vaart has been replaced and denied the chance to play a full 90 minutes.

And the Dutch ace insists he was not being disrespectful, but was just disappointed at not being able to see out the entire game.


Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Van der Vaart said: "I read that Harry Redknapp wanted to talk with me, but I did not see him before I left for Holland.

"But at Tottenham they cannot be angry with me. I also did the same thing against AC Milan [in the Champions League].

"I played well, and did not find the substitution necessary. Often I like to play 90 minutes, but at Spurs that hardly ever happens.

"I won't be back for 10 days, by then a lot of it will have blown over."

Van der Vaart is expected to play a key role for Holland as they look to stay on course for Euro 2012 in their Group E double-header against second-placed Hungary.

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