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By ESPN Staff
Jan 10, 2009

Defoe refutes mercenary accusation

Jermain Defoe has defended his decision to rejoin Tottenham Hotspur after being criticised by Portsmouth fans for being a mercenary footballer.

Pompey fans were furious with Defoe for going back to Spurs less than 12 months after arriving at Fratton Park, with the 26-year-old getting increased wages in a five-and-a-half-year deal as a result of the return.

England striker Defoe feels his attitude a year ago, during the final part of his first spell at Spurs, answers accusations of him demanding moves when he is not in the team.

"That's not true because when I was here last time not once did I moan or even knock on the manager's door," Defoe said. "I just went training as normal like the rest of the lads.

"Sometimes when you're not playing on the Saturday you will train with the reserves but not once did I moan.

"People have gone from saying I dealt with that situation fantastically and all of a sudden they're saying I spat my dummy out and just left.

"It's not like that. It was a fantastic opportunity and anyone in my situation would have done the same thing."

Defoe found himself dropped during his final days at Pompey - and he feels boss Tony Adams will continue with Peter Crouch in attack on his own. He also feels Adams could have done more to persuade him to stay.

"Maybe I thought he would try harder to keep me but he knows what he wants to do," Defoe said. "He wants to bring his own players in and he wants to play five in midfield and one up front.

"He showed that against Liverpool and Arsenal when I didn't play and he played Peter Crouch up front on his own. That's what he'll look to do now."

In the meantime, Defoe is set to make his second debut for the club against Wigan in the Premier League tomorrow.

The striker has already felt the difference from his time under former boss Juande Ramos, who was known as a strict disciplinarian.

"I've seen the boys dipping into tomato ketchup," he said. "I hadn't seen that for a while when Mr Ramos was here."

Defoe added: "It was difficult because his English was not the best and it was hard to communicate.

"I can't remember ever having a conversation with him even when I was here.

"It was difficult for him, to be honest, it made me feel a bit uncomfortable."

Defoe feels he could have helped Ramos keep his job, adding: "It would have been an extra forward at the club so I would like to have thought so."

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