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Van der Vaart vows to improve

Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart admits his recent performances have not been good enough, but says he will strive to improve.

The club have struggled in recent games, losing their last three on the trot, including a 9-2 hammering to Bayern Munich.

And van der Vaart said it is not only the team that is struggling for form.

“I’m playing badly at the moment,” the 30-year-old told Bild.

“The only thing I can do is fight and I’ll do that. I know that we have better chances of winning if I am in good shape.”

The former Real Madrid and Tottenham man was handed the captain’s armband after Heiko Westermann was relieved of his duties, but the Dutch playmaker insisted there is no bad blood between the two players.

“This is a great honour and it’s still very special to me,” he said.

“The decision came as a surprise to me. To be captain again was not my goal. Heiko and I have a good relationship. He already told me in the summer that it’s easy to imagine that I will be his successor.”

Hamburg are 11th in the Bundesliga, four points off a European spot, and the Dutchman is confident coach Thorsten Fink can steer the club in the right direction.

“He does an outstanding job here and we all stand behind him. Hopefully he will remain our coach for a long time. Now we have to pay back his commitment through our performances,” he said.

Fri 12 April, 2013
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