Defoe's Dream

Jermain Defoe is rather hoping that he does not return to West Ham before the end of the season!

As was pointed out here some weeks ago, Jermain is eligible to play for the Hammers at Middlesbrough - irrespective of whether the game could decide a relegation issue or not - if Bournemouth do not make the play offs.

If they do, he stays, and he admits:

"Everyone is talking about the playoffs now and everyone is confident, even though we have got a hard game now against Reading, which hopefully we can pick up three points from - but we also need other teams to slip up."

Bournemouth have won eight out of the last nine games to make a late surge and Jermain adds:

"All the lads are buzzing and I think we can do it - if we do, it will be a great achievement.

"It's going to be tough at Reading but I'm really looking forward to it."

His preference is certainly to play on with the Cherries rather than have a remote chance of being involved with West Ham on the last day of the season, and he adds:

"It's a hard choice but I would love to experience playing in the play off finals at a young age.

"My dream ultimately is to play in the Premiership with West Ham which is a great club.

"It's a funny situation, but whatever happens, happens."

Indeed, so focused is he on Bournemouth that he didn't know where the Hammers' final fixture was!

"The Middlesbrough game is at home, isn't it?" he enquires.

Though he adds:

"I'd like to be part of that if Bournemouth don't get in the play offs."

As for West Ham's situation, with just two league wins in ten games - not one win in four months, as has been reported this week - he adds:

"It seems wierd everyone talking about the relegation of West Ham because with the players at the squad it is unbelievable.

"It is such a strong squad - I don't know what's going on at the minute but I think we will be safe."

Looking further afield to next season, he admits that he doesn't feel he will be a regular - and, indeed Harry, while full of admiration for his achievements on the coast, described him recently as "a tot."

Jermain echos the sentiment, saying: 

"I'm still young, and I'd just love to be a part of it, even coming on from the bench would make me glad.

"But I would love to play and be a regular, and show what I can do."

The Dean Court experience has certainly raised his game away from the glare of Premiership publicity.

He has scored in his last two games to bring his tally to 18 but he insists:

"I'm happy even if I don't score as long as I'm playing well; it's certainly a good experience.

"I'm definitely surprised how well it has gone, especially with the ten in a row thing and everyone talking about the record.

"Really all I wanted to do was play league football and get the experience - the goals that have come with it have just been a bonus.

"My agent and my parents watching the games say I have got stronger and everything about my game has changed a lot.

"I think I've got bigger as well; I spoke to the gaffer [Harry] after a game and he said to me I've got bigger and stronger, and he's happy."

Meanwhile Peter Ridsdale, Leeds' chairman, has admitted the response from David O' Leary concerning the David Batty clash with Joe Cole recently was inappropriate and is quoted as saying:

"We looked at the Batty and Cole clash again and as a result I have phoned Graham Poll to tell him he made the correct decision.

"To be fair to David, when he initially saw the incident the video angle provided was inconclusive, but both he and I now feel that the referee was right.

"It's important that chairmen and managers support referees when their judgment is correct."

Just as well, perhaps, that the clash wasn't with the even more diminutive Jermain...