Defoe: Don't Go Paolo

Jermain Defoe fervently hopes that Paolo Di Canio stays at Upton Park to fulfil the remaining 18 months of his contract.

Although he could personally be a major beneficiary of Paolo leaving, in terms of starting more games, he insists he would much prefer his mentor to stay.

"I haven't really spoken to Paolo and I don't think anyone has so I'm not too sure what is going on at the minute," says Jermain.

"I think it would be a blow to the club if he left because he is such a great player and all the young players can learn a lot from him.

"He is important to the team but it is up to him what he wants to do. I don't want him to go, though. I can learn from him, as I do from all the players, and I really enjoy working with him, but whatever happens, happens."

Jermain has now overtaken Fredi Kanoute - who missed the Macclesfield game through illness - as top scorer with seven goals and he jokes: "I'll be phoning Fredi to remind him!"

Ironically, Fredi could still take his place against Leicester on Saturday if, as Glenn Roeder hopes, Paolo is still at the club come the weekend.

But that will not bother the likeable teenager, whose proud family made the long trip to see Jermain nearly earn the matchball.

No doubt the Macclesfield hierarchy were pleased they didn't have to relinquish the ball to him, especially after three disappeared out of the tiny Moss Rose ground anyway during the course of the game.

But Jermain admits he should have added to his tally in the last couple of minutes of the tie when he left three players trailing in his wake only to shoot wide from the edge of the box.

"I didn't quite get the hat trick but I should have. I thought I could have taken it on a little bit more, but I suppose next time I get in that situation I will know what to do," he says, ever the willing learner.

"All I want to do is keep working hard. I'm really enjoying it, and there's pressure, but it helps a lot when there are good players around you.

"I enjoyed the game; we always knew it would be difficult as all the fans expect us to go there and for it to be easy but those games never are.

"I know because I played in the second division at Bournemouth and that wasn't easy; and the third division is even more physical.

"The pitch was good and we brought a few fans down as well so it was a good experience."

He has sympathy for John Moncur's sending off, though, and adds: "The referee booked him for the tackle and then for trying to lift up the player. I thought it was a little bit harsh, and he should have just given him a yellow card and let him get on with the game."