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West Ham boss Harry Redknapp
'"Jermain is a bright lad who's got a big future"
 real 14k

Jermain Defoe
"Everybody's been great to me at Bournemouth"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 24 January, 2001, 10:38 GMT
Redknapp tips Defoe for stardom
Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe hopes to make the grade at West Ham
West Ham manager Harry Redknapp believes Jermain Defoe will make the big time when he returns from a record-breaking loan spell with Bournemouth.

Defoe scored the opener in Bournemouth's 2-0 victory at Cambridge United on Tuesday to set a new post-war scoring record.

His feat surpassed the nine scored by Liverpool's John Aldridge in the 1987-88 season (Aldridge also scored in the last game of the previous season) and Wrexham's Kevin Russell - both of whom scored penalties in their hauls.

Defoe is now aiming to beat former Everton great Dixie Dean, who scored in 12 successive league games in the 1930-31 season.

Successful

Redknapp said: "He's done great. I sent him out to Bournemouth to get some experience playing league football and he's coped marvellously.

"To score 10 goals in 10 games is a terrific achievement.

"He's a bright lad who's full of confidence. Nothing knocks him, he's a typical goal-scorer. If he misses, he'll be there the next time looking for a goal.

"He's a kid with a big future. Hopefully, he'll come back to West Ham and establish himself in our first team."

Defoe is enjoying his spell with the Cherries, but is also looking forward to challenging for a first team spot at West Ham next season.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's great at Bournemouth. Everybody's been good to me.

"Hopefully, though, I can fight for a place at West Ham and follow in the foosteps of Joe Cole and Michael Carrick.

"I'm not thinking about the Dixie Dean record too much. I am just concentrating on the football.

" If I think about it too much it will play on my mind and make me nervous," he added.

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See also:

23 Jan 01 |  Eng Div 2
Defoe sets league record
26 Oct 00 |  Bournemouth
Defoe on loan at Dean Court
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