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Saturday 23 September 2017

Van: Spurs lucky to still be in Cup

Match winner Rafael says Watford should have won tie

Tottenham's match-winner Rafael van der Vaart admitted Watford deserved to go through to the fifth round of the FA Cup in place of his side after producing an impressive performance at Vicarage Road last night.

Van der Vaart netted the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute with a 30-yard drive that beat home goalkeeper Scott Loach, but Championship side Watford created enough chances to have dumped their Premier League opponents out.

The Hornets struck the Tottenham woodwork on two occasions and visiting goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini performed well to keep out lively striker Marvin Sordell in the second half.

When asked if he was relieved to get the win, Van der Vaart said: "Yes. Watford deserved more, maybe a win because they were the better team.

"Sometimes you have these types of days, the 100 per cent sharpness isn't there. It was a difficult game, the pitch was heavy and they played a great game."

Regarding his goal, which Loach may feel he could have done better with, Van der Vaart said: "It was a lucky strike but I'm happy with the win."

The Dutchman also hailed team-mate Cudicini: "(He made) great saves. We were under pressure and he did fantastic."

Cudicini was not surprised that Watford gave them such a tough night.

"Once you've been in England for a while, you know what the FA Cup is about so we knew it was going to be a difficult game," said the veteran shot-stopper.

"We have a great squad. We showed that in Premier League and hopefully we will have a long run in the competition."

Watford manager Sean Dyche was full of praise for his team despite the end of his side's cup run.

"I thought our performance was excellent," he said.

"Sometimes it happens when you don't get your rewards.

"Performances are important but I'm really gutted we couldn't go through.

"We should have got a draw as a minimum."

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp also felt his side were lucky to advance and heaped praise on Watford.

"They say it's better to be lucky than good. We were lucky, we weren't good," said Redknapp, who is currently embroiled in a court case over allegations of tax evasion.

"Credit to Watford though, they were fantastic. They were top class. We got away with it. I don't know what was wrong with us, we just never got hold of the ball. We were off colour.

"We're still there and I think we've got a big chance this year of winning the cup. This could be our year."

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