Red-hot De­foe puts Red­knapp’s side on top

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL - By ANDY HAMP­SON

TOT­TEN­HAM HOT­SPUR striker Jer­main De­foe claimed yes­ter­day he may have needed to score a hat­trick on Wed­nes­day night just to keep his place in the team.

De­foe is hit­ting a rich vein of form, with three goals in Spurs’ con­vinc­ing 5-1 Premier League win at Hull.

The victory lifted Spurs to the top of the ta­ble af­ter two games and, with Rob­bie Keane also on tar­get and Peter Crouch and Ro­man Pav­lyuchenko wait­ing for a start, De­foe is ex­cited about the team’s prospects.

De­foe said: “It gives us mas­sive con­fi­dence to get the three points and every­one’s done their part.

“Scor­ing goals does give you con­fi­dence and I just want to keep it go­ing, keep work­ing hard and, hope­fully, I’ll get more. I’m play­ing in a good team so I know I’m go­ing to get chances, it’s just down to me to take them.

“But there is no guar­an­tee you are go­ing to play. That keeps you on your toes and when you get an op­por­tu­nity you’ve got to take it, oth­er­wise you mightn’t be play­ing the next game.”

His man­ager, Harry Red­knapp, paid trib­ute to the 26-year-old for the hard work he has done over the sum­mer. Red­knapp claimed De­foe was now a stronger player and the for mer Portsmouth for­ward is pleased his ef­forts are re­ceiv­ing re­ward.

“I want to score in ev­ery game, be­ing a for­ward,” De­foe said. “I’ve been in the gym pre-sea­son and re­ally put it in. Hope­fully, I’m now ben­e­fit­ing from it. I want to keep it go­ing now.”

Spurs’ other goal at the KC Sta­dium came from Wil­son Pala­cios while the mid­field­ers Luka Mo­dric, Aaron Len­non and Tom Huddlestone were also threat­en­ing.

Red­knapp is pleased to have so many play­ers car­ry­ing an at­tack­ing threat at his dis­posal.

“We’re in good form and when you look at the bench we’ve got Crouchie who can’t get in the team,” Red­knapp said.

“He is a ter­rific as­set to us and we’ve got Pav­lyuchenko as well. We’re very strong in that depart­ment.”

Red­knapp’s cur­rent prob­lems are all in de­fence, with Led­ley King un­able to fea­ture at Hull and join­ing Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Daw­son on the side­lines.

King is hope­ful his trou­ble­some knee might ease suf­fi­ciently for him to face West Ham but the goal­keeper Heurelho Gomes is likely to be out af­ter go­ing off with a thigh in­jury at Hull.

“Led­ley doesn’t train at all,” Red­knapp said. “He’s been out on the train­ing ground twice since last sea­son. His knee is like a bal­loon but it’s start­ing to go down.

“On Satur­day, hope­fully, he’ll give me the thumbs-up and he’ll come and play on Sun­day and be on an­other level.” – The In­de­pen­dent

UP­LIFT­ING: Jer­main De­foe cel­e­brates with Benoit Assou-Ekotto

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