Defoe: Spurs can ride out Bale absence
Jermain Defoe is convinced Tottenham will be able to cope without Gareth Bale for the next two weeks after the Tottenham winger suffered a hamstring injury in yesterday’s 3-0 win over Fulham.
Tottenham moved level with third-placed Chelsea thanks to an impressive victory, which came courtesy of two goals from Defoe and another from Sandro.
But the gloss was taken off the win – Tottenham’s third in a row – due to hamstring injuries to Bale and captain Michael Dawson.
Dawson lasted just 15 minutes before pulling up and Bale had to come off in the second half after he stretched while shooting at goal.
Bale is expected to miss Tottenham’s next two games, but Dawson could be back for next weekend’s Barclays Premier League clash at Everton.
Defoe was impressed with how his team recovered from losing two of their key players, giving him hope Spurs can continue their winning streak.
“Obviously losing Gaz is a massive blow for the team,” Defoe told Absolute Radio.
“Because of the way he plays you can’t really replace a player like that, but at the same time I think someone else can come in.
“We’re lucky because we’ve got some great players that can come in, play out of position, adapt and do a job for the team.
“When Gaz went off the pitch Clint Dempsey went over to the left-hand side and did well. I think we will be okay.”
Yesterday’s derby was billed as a chance for Dimitar Berbatov to shine against his former club, but Defoe upstaged the Bulgarian with a typically ruthless second-half brace.
The England striker picked up a pass from Gylfi Sigurdsson to double Tottenham’s lead after 72 minutes and a short time later he killed off the match by latching on to Dempsey’s through-ball and beating Mark Schwarzer.
Defoe was overlooked by Harry Redknapp for the majority of last season, but has found a new lease of life under Andre Villas-Boas, scoring 12 goals to put him on course to beat his record of 24 goals in a campaign.
“When you’re scoring goals, you’re buzzing. You just can’t wait for the next game because you’ve got that belief,” Defoe said.
“You always feel like you’re going to score every game you go in to, because you’re scoring goals.
“You know you’re going to play, you know you’re going to stay on the pitch, so I just stayed focused and took the chances when they came.”
Fulham are now going through their worst period of the season.
The Cottagers have not won in their last seven games and have failed to score in their last three.
Berbatov showed occasional flashes of brilliance yesterday, but the team lacked the cutting edge provided to them by Dempsey and Mousa Dembele last term.
Manager Martin Jol is refusing to panic, however, and is sure his team will improve when Brede Hangeland and Bryan Ruiz return from suspension and injury respectively.
“We’re still only three points away from 20 and there are still three games to go before we’ve even reached the halfway point of the league program,” Jol said.
“Our target is always – like 10 or 12 other teams – to get to 40 points, so I’m not worried.
“Hangeland is coming back, Bryan Ruiz is coming back, so hopefully if everyone is on the board we can try to get back on the winning track.”