J: Mc Will Be Back Soon

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Jermain Defoe says that Michael Carrick will bounce back to form soon - with the help of his team mates, the management - and the fans.

Michael sat alongside Jermain on the subs' bench at White Hart Lane at the weekend, and both England U21 players aim to get back to the starting line up as soon as possible.

"Everyone knows Michael is a great player; he has played for England at senior level, and he is still young and learning the game," says Jermain.

"We want the fans to get behind him, the manager, and everyone, so hopefully we can play well.

"No one is perfect and no one can play well every game; all you can do is try your best and after the game, if you can say that, there is not much more you can ask for."

Jermain feels a move up the table is just a matter of time and adds:

"We finished seventh last season so if we all stick together we can get out of this - and hopefully look back on it at the end of the season and be able to forget these times.

"The squad is stronger, it's just that it has been a slow start and we haven't got going yet - but when the luck goes our way things will improve."

Jermain himself, yet to score this season, is working hard to put things right, and adds:

"I always stay back and do a little bit extra to try and improve my game; sometimes the manager doesn't want me to, particularly if I have done a lot in training, and I respect that.

"I am conscious though of not overstretching myself and getting injured, but everyone has been training really hard and it has just been a case of bad luck, as the Spurs game showed when we worked really hard and just didn't get a break.

"I work on speed and sharpness, just as I did when I was on loan at Bournemouth; I wouldn't say I was definitely the fastest at West Ham, though I'd hope I'm up there somewhere!"

Doubtless Jermain will soon be in the starting line up to show Premiership defenders a clean pair of heels.

"We definitely just need that first win," he says, "then we will be on our way; the thing is, the team spirit has always been good at the club, and we know that if we all stick together we will be fine.

"That is what is happening and it is important - everyone is playing for each other even though we are going through tough times at the minute.

"We deserved something at Spurs; to be honest, towards the end of the game I thought that we were better than them because we made a few chances and looked strong."

Furthest from his mind, however, are thoughts of playing for the full England team while West Ham are in the current predicament - and he is on the bench.

Confident on the pitch, but modest off it, he was almost embarrassed by the hype this summer that suggested he would go into the full squad at the start of this season.

The display against Arsenal may not have harmed his cause, but he says:

"I am not really thinking about that now, just concentrating on doing really well for West Ham and getting our season up and running - then I can start thinking about England," he says.

"People asked me if I was disappointed to be in the under 21s rather than the full squad when it was named but the answer is 'no, not really'.

"I'm only 19 and still learning the game; all I want is to play football, and when it happens, it happens.

"There are a lot of young players like Joe Cole who have made the jump from U21s, and if I can keep my head down and keep working hard, hopefully I will get picked - in good time.

"International football is a different challenge to the Premiership; it's a bit less physical, and you get a bit more time on the ball - but, obviously, the defenders there are top quality anyway."