Defoe calls for patience for AVB’s reign

TOTTENHAM striker Jermain Defoe believes under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas is on the verge of inspiring a significant improvement in the club’s form and hopes that that time will finally mark his rise as an England regular.

Villas-Boas is without a win in three games since his succession of Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane but Defoe is adamant that the Portuguese needs only time to correct Spurs’ wrongs and that any criticism of the former Chelsea manager is unfairly premature.

“As players, when you join a new club it takes a while to bed in and it is no different for the manager to be honest,” said Defoe, who could win his 50th England cap in the World Cup qualifier away to Moldova on Friday. “When the new manager comes in, straight away you are going to be under pressure. It is a big club but it takes time. It is still early days and it is important to give managers a chance.

“We’ve got a good, strong squad at the club and I’m sure it will be fine. I honestly think that [Villas-Boas] will do well. He just needs a little bit of luck and then we will be flying.

“But he has good ideas and what I like about him is in every game there is a different approach, how we are going to play and set up. Everyone knows their jobs. I think he is good and I’ve enjoyed it.”

Among the growing pressures on Villas-Boas is the £12m France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who – according to France manager Didier Deschamps – despite only on Friday arriving at the club, is unhappy that Villas-Boas expects him to fight for a starting place instead of immediately being installed into the first team over the consistent Brad Friedel. “Hugo has not appreciated the statements of his coach,” Deschamps said.

First-team football has also been a constant challenge for Defoe but with injuries to Andy Carroll and Wayne Rooney, the striker remains one of England manager Roy Hodgson’s few options and plans to take advantage of any potential opportunities that come his way.

“I was happy when I went to the Euros and to get the goal against Italy was good for my confidence,” he said. “I feel sharp and ready to go.

“Everyone wants to start games. It’s definitely better.”