Jermain Looks Ahead

Jermain Defoe says he will be hoping to emulate former club-mate Rio Ferdinand's achievements in the game - albeit at the other end of the pitch.

Jermain has one eye on the fixture list and those clashes with Manchester United when he will be looking to pit his wits against his £30million friend.

"I spoke to Rio on Thursday but I didn't ask him any questions about what was going on because obviously that was his business," he reveals.

"But good luck to him - he is a great player who had a great World Cup.

"To achieve what he has achieved at such a young age is unbelievable. You just look at him, try to put yourself in his shoes, and follow in his footsteps."

Jermain hopes that another good campaign is just around the corner, and says: "If we can keep all our best players it will be great. We have got loads of internationals in the side and I can't see why we can't have another great season."

Jermain is hoping to add to his goal tally at Southend United on Tuesday night after opening his account for the summer against Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road on Friday.

Indeed, you could say he is just where he wants to be - out in front as the Hammers' top scorer!

"It was nice to get off to a good start with my first goal. I really enjoyed the game," he says.

"The team spirit is good after going away to Portugal and hopefully we will have a good season like last year."

Jermain is hoping to fulfil the high hopes of the supporters this campaign by playing more regularly, and he says: "I am just glad to be back, and I know the fans are going to be expecting a lot because of the season we had last year when it really picked up and fell into place at the end.

"Hopefully we can live up to it and things will be good, and I just want to keep on working hard and hope to keep my place."

Jermain knows there is a real battle on for a place up front now that he can consider himself a more senior player, but he says: "That is what it is about. When you have got competition at the club it looks bright for West Ham, so there is nothing wrong with that."

Jermain will shortly welcome Trevor Sinclair back to training, and he enthuses: "I have been looking forward to him coming back to congratulate him. I thought he had a great World Cup, especially with what went on before.

"I didn't think he was going to play, but he did, and performed really well so I am just happy for him."