Harry Redknapp was relieved his gamble on Rafael van der Vaart’s fitness paid off for Spurs.
The Dutchman had missed the previous three games with a hamstring injury, but returned to the Spurs side to score a brace in the 2-1 win against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
“I took a gamble with him because he has had a hamstring problem, and when he gets tired he tends to get injuries,” said Redknapp.
“He went to the World Cup and played bit parts all the time and probably didn’t get a proper pre-season under his belt.
“So when he gets a bit fatigued he does tend to do a hamstring or something else, and that’s what I was scared of.
“I probably left him on for 10 minutes longer than I was going to because when he got hold of the ball at least he would keep it.
“But he has been fantastic for us. He’s a 15- to 20-goal-a-year man, and he has everything as a player. He’s not just a goalscorer, but a fantastic footballer.”
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