Trevor - Let Dust Settle

Trevor Brooking has spoken to Jermain Defoe's agency about the timing of his transfer request, and now hopes the player will be able to concentrate on having a good campaign for England under-21s.

Trevor believes staying at Upton Park would be beneficial to his career, and explains: "We've tried to protect Jermain because, not surprisingly, he has had some pretty horrendous headlines and a reaction to what looked to be a pretty insensitive transfer request," says Trevor.

"I think he was pretty stunned by what went on, but he is only 20 and I pointed out to him what a season he had had. We talked it through and I have spoken to the agency, making it pretty clear what I thought.

"We have had the chat and we are clear on what we thought about the situation - and what we want to do now is make sure that we resolve it with sensible discussions and not find that the media get everything before we have even spoken to everyone - and vice versa, I am sure, from their point of view.

"As I say, it was handled extremely badly, but let's put that behind us now - we have cleared the air and let's start back from scratch again.

"We have got to allow the dust to settle on it. It was an error of judgment and what we don't want is for Jermain to be under more pressure.

"Hopefully the fans will give him the opportunity to see what happens in the next few weeks in the summer and we can persuade him to give us a chance to get the 25 or 30 goals I think he would get in Division One.

"At the end of the season, if we bounce back, he will only be 21, and, as far as I am concerned, it wouldn't hinder his development - we will try and convince him that is the case.

"We also have to illustrate that there will be a decent enough squad when the season kicks off.

"There has been a little flurry for 48 hours and hopefully the dust will settle a little bit. He has gone off with the under-21s and will be involved with that into June, and once that is all out of the way no doubt we can all have a little discussion about it.

"But the transfer request was turned down, he is under contract for two years as far as we are concerned, and we want to keep him.

"Let's progress on that issue as the summer goes on and not put anyone under pressure. He has responded to what I have said and I think he was a bit shocked at everything because no one had thought it through, particularly the person that gave him the advice he did.

"He is a good lad and if he was the individual that is being portrayed as a result you would think to yourself 'all right, off you go'.

"But he is not, and he didn't deserve to get the flak that he got because he was let down by the advice given.

"So let's try and help him sit down now and make the right decision. He has got to be happy but I believe that staying with us and giving us a chance to bounce straight back would be an excellent decision for him because he would still be playing - whereas if he moved on he could find himself on the bench for half the season somewhere else."