January make or break time for Spurs, says Defoe
Tuesday 03 January 2012
Jermain Defoe says that this month will determine whether Tottenham Hotspur are genuine Premier League title contenders. At the halfway point of the season, Harry Redknapp's third-placed side lie just six points behind Manchester rivals, City and United, but with a game in hand on both.
Tottenham, who missed the chance to close the gap even further after conceding a late goal in the 1-1 draw at Swansea on Saturday, begin a crunch period which could define their season with a home match – one of four fixtures at White Hart Lane – against West Bromwich Albion tonight.
Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic visit north London this month and there is also a potentially pivotal title showdown at Manchester City on 22 January.
When asked if this month would give an indication on how far Tottenham can go this season, the England striker Defoe said: "I think so, especially with the other teams slipping up as well. Some of the results we have just heard – it's unbelievable.
"January is a big month for us and will really determine how far we have come. We have got a lot of home games and that makes a massive difference. But it is looking good for us. It was an opportunity for us at Swansea but it's a difficult place to come. I wouldn't say it was a blip.
"You can't expect to win every game and I am sure a lot of teams will go there and think, 'Yes, we will take the point.' "They are a good side, created chances and were unlucky in the first half. But all our lads are buzzing at the minute.
"All the lads are grafting for each other, there is a good team spirit and everyone believes that we can win every game we play in, so it looks good."
Roy Hodgson's men travel to Tottenham just 48 hours after the 1-0 home defeat to Everton. Defoe thinks the gruelling schedule will take its toll on West Bromwich.
Defoe added: "The good thing is that West Brom played on Sunday so they have got only one day's recovery before playing Tuesday. We have got an extra day – I think that could play a part."
Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker is a doubt with a knee injury.
Latest in Sport
Daniel Sturridge injury: Alongside Luis Suarez, how the Liverpool SAS may FAIL to become the most lethal partnership in Premier League history
Arsenal: Four remaining fixtures - will they beat Everton to the final Champions League place?
Liverpool: Four remaining fixtures - can they stay top of the Premier League table?
Luis Suarez: Could Liverpool cash in on their star striker if they won the Premier League this season?
Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2 match report: Gareth Bale scores wonder goal to claim Copa del Rey for Real
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
- 5 Mrs Doubtfire 2: Robin Williams set to star in sequel to 1993 comedy
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back