Defoe backing for Villas-Boas

  • Last Updated: September 4 2012, 17:15 BST

Jermain Defoe has given his backing to under-fire Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas as he prepares to win his 50th England cap in Friday's World Cup qualifier in Moldova.

Jermain Defoe: Expects 'difficult game'

Defoe has linked up with Roy Hodgson's side on the back of signing a new contract and three successive starts in the Barclays Premier League - a rarity for the striker last season.

Villas-Boas has come in for criticism after Tottenham's failure to win any of those trio of games.

But Defoe is convinced the former Chelsea manager will prove to be successful at White Hart Lane once Spurs adapt to a new style of play in which so far he has been the only out-and-out forward.

He said: "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.

"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.

"People say it is the same personnel but it is a different way of playing, a different system this year, so that is going to take time.

"A lot of the boys haven't played like that before. It is going to take time but I'm sure we will adapt and it will be fine."

As for Villas-Boas' qualities, Defoe said: "In my opinion, I think the manager is really good, really organised, training has been fantastic, he knows exactly what he wants.

"I honestly think that he 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."

Defoe is relieved to have sorted out his own future before reporting for England duty after signing a new three-year deal.

He said: "I'm a lot more settled to be honest. As a player, when you are not too sure what is going on, people are asking everyday 'are you staying or going?' and you don't really know the answer.

"When you are unsettled, it is not good. You are training and not sure if you are going to get a phone call saying the club have agreed a fee for you to go somewhere else.

"When you know you have signed a contract, you can think 'this is me for the next few years' and you can focus fully on getting down to work."

Defoe will take great pride if he clocks up his half-century of caps in Moldova and is looking to play a prominent role under Hodgson after his stunning goal against Italy last month in Berne.

Only 17 of his 49 caps have been starts, a situation he would like to address.

He said: "It will mean the world to get the 50th cap be honest. It's something I've been thinking about for a while, speaking with my family about. It is a good achievement.

"It's been ups and downs with England but that is football. The last campaign I got off to a flier in with a hat-trick against Bulgaria.

"Then a few days later I was having an operation on my ankle.

"You almost have to wait for your chance again, you get back in the squad and it is important to stay there.

"I was happy when I went to the Euros and to get the goal against Italy was good for my confidence. I feel sharp and ready to go."

Defoe added: "Everyone wants to start games. It's not easy when you come on as a sub to get straight into the game.

"With starting the game, you get into the full rhythm. It's definitely better. That's why it has been good to start the first three at Tottenham, which was a run I never had last season."

Defoe was grateful for the support of Hodgson after the battle of his late father against cancer in the build-up to Euro 2012.

He said: "I'd like to thank him because it was difficult over the summer, losing my dad.

"I went to the manager after training one day and asked if it would be okay to go to the hospital and spend some time with my dad.

"He said no problem at all, have a few hours at the hospital with your dad every day, no problem, just make sure you are back for the meetings.

"I thank him for that. I felt comfortable sitting with the manager and talking about stuff like that.

"Everyone is different but he seems easier to approach and he will come up to you and make a conversation first, not just about football but your life and things like that."