If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Defoe happy with club and country
Jermain Defoe has given his backing to under-fire Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas as he prepares to win his 50th England cap in Friday's World Cup qualifier in Moldova.
Defoe has linked up with Roy Hodgson's side on the back of signing a new contract and three successive starts in the Barclays Premier League - a rarity for the striker last season. Villas-Boas has come in for criticism after Tottenham's failure to win any of those trio of games.
But Defoe is convinced the former Chelsea manager will prove to be successful at White Hart Lane once Spurs adapt to a new style of play in which so far he has been the only out-and-out forward. He said: "As players, when you join a new club it takes a while to bed in and it is no different for the manager to be honest."
He added: "When the new manager comes in, straight away you are going to be under pressure. It is a big club but it takes time. It is still early days and it is important to give managers a chance. We've got a good, strong squad at the club and I'm sure it will be fine.
"People say it is the same personnel but it is a different way of playing, a different system this year, so that is going to take time. A lot of the boys haven't played like that before. It is going to take time but I'm sure we will adapt and it will be fine."
As for Villas-Boas' qualities, Defoe said: "In my opinion, I think the manager is really good, really organised, training has been fantastic, he knows exactly what he wants. I honestly think that he will do well. He just needs a little bit of luck and then we will be flying."
Defoe will take great pride if he clocks up his half-century of caps in Moldova and is looking to play a prominent role under Hodgson after his stunning goal against Italy last month in Berne. Only 17 of his 49 caps have been starts, a situation he would like to address.
He said: "It will mean the world to get the 50th cap be honest. It's something I've been thinking about for a while, speaking with my family about. It is a good achievement.
"It's been ups and downs with England but that is football. The last campaign I got off to a flier in with a hat-trick against Bulgaria. Then a few days later I was having an operation on my ankle.
"You almost have to wait for your chance again, you get back in the squad and it is important to stay there. I was happy when I went to the Euros and to get the goal against Italy was good for my confidence. I feel sharp and ready to go."