Redknapp welcomes back Defoe but asks him to 'emulate greats'

Jermain Defoe is pushing for a return to Tottenham's team tonight, after two and a half months out, with a reminder of how things have changed at the club in his absence.

Victories over Internazionale three weeks ago and over Arsenal at the weekend have raised expectations around White Hart Lane to a new level. With Rafael van der Vaart likely to miss tonight's Champions League tie with Werder Bremen, Defoe's recovery from an ankle injury sustained on England duty at the start of September is timed perfectly.

But as a demonstration of the higher standards expected by Tottenham these days, manager Harry Redknapp yesterday welcomed Defoe's return with a few challenging comments that are designed to motivate the 28-year-old to greater heights. Redknapp spoke of how Defoe needs to improve his focus and contribute more goals, and used the striker's lean spell at the end of last season as an example. The evidence is that he has scored only four Premier League goals in 2010.

The Tottenham manager also revealed that Defoe is being tutored by the club's former strikers-turned-coaches Les Ferdinand and Clive Allen to hold the ball up better.

Redknapp said: "Jermain is without doubt our biggest goalscorer but I think he can score more goals. He should get 20-plus every year. Last year he had an unbelievable spell and then he dried up. It's up to Jermain to emulate the greats. There's part of his game he can improve. His hold-up play can be better. When the ball comes to him he can be stronger, that's an area he can improve.

"His goalscoring is fantastic, and his movement, but to be the complete frontman, his hold-up play can be better, taking the ball into feet and protecting it better. Les and Clive have been working on that with him."

The loss of Van der Vaart to an ankle injury is cushioned by the return of Defoe, who made an impact without scoring when he came on at half-time of Saturday's remarkable 3-2 victory at Arsenal.

Jermaine Jenas, who came into the side in place of the injured Tom Huddlestone last weekend, said the genesis of that historic victory, Tottenham's first at Arsenal for 17 years, can be traced back to a memorable defeat.

Jenas said Tottenham's 4-3 defeat to Inter at San Siro last month, when Spurs were 4-0 down and reduced to 10 men at half-time, has been the spark that has lit up their season. "It was a catalyst," Jenas said. "We didn't perform in the first half, went down to 10 men and people wrote us off. But in the second half we gave ourselves a mental victory. We had Inter on the ropes with 10 men at San Siro. Not many teams will go and do that. And in doing that we looked at ourselves and said 'We can do anything if we're all at it'."

A victory tonight over a struggling Werder team will see Tottenham qualify for the knockout stages. Bremen have lost five of their last six games, have nine injuries and their Germany international midfielder Torsten Frings is suspended.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game