Defoe still looking up

Defoe still looking up

Jermain Defoe is optimistic Tottenham can maintain their push for Champions League qualification after today’s 2-0 defeat of West Ham.

Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric continued his comeback from a fractured fibula in August by scoring on his return to the starting XI and former Hammers striker Defoe added a second in the second half in the Barclays Premier League win.

“It’s fantastic, that’s what we wanted,” Defoe told Sky Sports 1.

“I think we’re good enough to compete up there, so we’re delighted today with a great three points.”

Man of the match Tom Huddlestone, who turned 23 today, said: “We came in at half-time totally dominated the first half, but in a local derby anything can happen, but once Jermain got the second we were home and dry.”

Huddlestone believes he and Defoe benefited by missing last Saturday’s draw at Fulham.

“We felt sharp today,” he added.

“Some of the lads that played on Boxing Day said they felt a bit stiff in between, but for me and Jermain to be rested or dropped, we felt fresh today.”

West Ham were hampered by injuries including the first-half departure of midfielder Scott Parker.

The Hammers have been afflicted by injuries but manager Gianfranco Zola praised the team’s response.

“We can only be strong and try to get round this problem – that’s all we can do,” he said.

“I must say the reaction from the team for all the injury problems has been massive.

“I’m delighted with the performance.

“In the second half we created some chances and we looked all right.”

On whether Zola should have rested Parker, the Italian said: “It’s pointless now to say I should or shouldn’t have done.

“We decided together that he was to play, unfortunately it didn’t go right.

“Hopefully it’s not going to be a bad thing. It’s not bad damage.”

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