J: Let's Stick Together

Jermain Defoe hopes that West Ham's young bucks can go from strength to strength next season - by staying in the Premiership in this one.

"We are a lot of young lads and the team spirit is just unbelievable - and it would be a shame if we all split up.

"We all want to play together and with Glen Johnson coming through as well there are loads of us.

"In the last few weeks, especially when Glen came in, we have done so well - and I think we will stay up and be strong next season when we bring in one or two more players.

"We can repeat the season that we finished seventh and push on for the top six because I think we are good enough to do that.

"A lot of people are saying the position we are in isn't making any sense - but we are in it now and we need to get out of it.

"We should be in the top 10, definitely, with the players we have got.

"It isn't going to happen this year but hopefully next year we can have a good year."

Winning at Bolton would, of course, be a massive boost to those survival aspirations, and Jermain knows that only too well.

"It will definitely be the biggest game I have played in but I am looking forward to it," he says.

"I am not really nervous, just chilling out and doing what I normally do, approaching it like any other game - that is how you need to do it.

"One we get across that white line it is up to the players, and if you think about going down things are going to happen, so at the end of the day, if you just play it is better and you can think about things at the end of the game when you sit down.

"The mood has been good, the lads have been great, we are all working hard, and we are all looking forward to the game.

"I feel we can go there and win but the first goal is really important, and if we get that we have a great chance.

"It is going to be a great game, they are not going to lie down and die - they are going to fight us and there are going to be a few tackles flying in.

"It is a must win game for them as well but I think we will be all right and everyone is up for it.

"They have got people like Okocha and Djorkaeff, a World Cup winner and a great player, but we have a lot of internationals and we can win.

"It is a massive game, like a cup final, and you are looking forward to it thinking about nothing else but winning.

"I think we need to approach it as going to win, not just not lose, and, although it will be a tough game - as every game is in the Premier League - I think we can do it."

Jermain sees echoes of the West Brom game - the last time the Hammers won away - and adds:

"That was a must win game and the players did brilliantly up there; if we can do the same thing again we will be all right because we have so much quality in the side, even among the players that will start on the bench but will probably play a big part in it - we are all in it together."

Jermain insists he is not losing any sleep over not scoring last week when he found himself with opportunities - especially in injury time when Aston Villa keeper Peter Enckelman blocked his shot in a one on one.

"It came to me from the half way line, I turned Staunton, and then I was running to Mellberg," he recalls "when I thought 'there is a little bit in front of me if I knock it past him.'

"It happened so quickly and I thought if I cut it back there is no way he can stop me, because if he brings me down I am in the box and it is a penalty.

"As I did that the keeper was off his line so quickly and it was a snapshot that just hit his body.

"It was a good save and to be honest when we played them up there he was on fire; he is a great keeper, and after the game walking down the tunnel he had a little smirk on his face.

"If we had won the game it would be a different story but he did well and there is not much you can do now, is there?

"All we can do now is look forward to Bolton; it didn't happen for us on Saturday but hopefully it will there."

And Jermain hopes to be facing, in a claret and blue shirt, the manager who bought him from Charlton, Harry Redknapp, whose Portsmouth side won promotion on Tuesday night - courtesy of a Svetoslav Todorov goal against Burnley.

"That would be a bit special with Harry Redknapp as an ex West Ham manager; I am pleased for him and he must be delighted," says Jermain.