Defoe Determined

Jermain Defoe says he is going to work diligently this week to regain his place in the starting line-up for the game against Manchester United on Saturday.

He made way for the return of Fredi Kanoute from illness for the Everton game after deputising for the Frenchman at Villa Park, and in the previous three matches for the then-suspended Paolo Di Canio.

"At the end of the day all I want to do is play football and it is frustrating when you are on the bench," he admits.

"But we got the three points against Everton - which is the most important thing."

A recent article speculating on what he may earn at Upton Park, both now and in the future, has angered him.

It also claimed to reveal what some of the other players earned, and Jermain says: "It is a joke. I just woke up and read it in the papers like everyone else, and I don't think I need to say anything about it.

"That's not important, my football is, and that's it."

And as far as the football is concerned, he admits to being as baffled as anyone as to why the away form is the opposite of the home form.

"I don't know why it is so different on the road but at home everyone sticks together and we always play well against the top sides to grind out results," he says.

"Away from home it is a lot different, but I don't know the reason for it.

"It was difficult at Villa but I thought we played a lot better in the second half than the first, and we deserved a draw up there.

"To get a point up there would have been great, but we were unlucky conceding in the last few seconds.

"The next game is a big one against Manchester United and I will just keep on working hard to get back in the side."