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Fitness key - Rafa

Posted on 25 July 2011  - 12:00

Rafa van der Vaart noticed a difference in fitness levels between our fixtures with Orlando Pirates in South Africa.

Rafa van der Vaart noticed a difference in fitness levels between our fixtures with Orlando Pirates in South Africa.

We impressed in the first half of the first match against the PSL champions last Tuesday but were somewhat disappointing after the break in a 1-1 draw in Polokwane.

However, four days later and we finished stronger on our way to a 3-0 victory in the Vodacom Challenge final in Johannesburg.

Rafa scored twice - taking his tally to three in the tournament - and Gareth Bale had a goal disallowed before setting-up Jermain Defoe for the third goal three minutes from time.

"We had a few good training sessions (between the matches) and we all feel much fitter," said the Dutch maestro at Ellis Park.

"That's when you can win games and we beat a good team in Orlando Pirates.

"It was a tough match and difficult to beat them, just as we expected, but I thought we played really well in the final."

The first team squad will now have a week's training back at Spurs Lodge before our next friendly at Brighton's all-new Amex Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.