J: Belief Is There

Jermain Defoe says team unity is as strong as ever going into the Christmas programme.

With Bolton representing the next chance to grab a first home win of the season, their boss Sam Allardyce - mindful of the fact that a West Ham win would dump Bolton to the bottom - has already said he is desperate to avoid defeat, alluding to the fact that, since the inception of the Premiership, the team that has been bottom at Christmas has always hitherto gone down.

A draw for the Trotters would leave West Ham in that unenviable position, but Jermain says:

"We just need everyone to stick together and hopefully we can get out of it.

"These are big games and they are going to be difficult - as they all are now with the situation we are in."

Jermain has enjoyed playing with Ian Pearce up front, though there are hopes that Fredi Kanoute will return to action at the weekend after three months out, and he adds:

"He is a big man to play off and I thought he did well at Manchester United, although it was tough for us.

"But I don't think you could fault the effort."

Meanwhile, amid renewed claims that Gabriel Batistuta is coming to Upton Park, Glenn Roeder says:

"I don't know why we have been linked with him, perhaps it is us being used to smoke a few other clubs out.

"He is a fantastic player but the suggestion that we have made contact about him is nonsense."