LONDON:  Jermain Defoe, to the surprise of even Tottenham fans, is justifying the decision of manager Andre Villas-Boas to use the littleEnglandman as a lone striker.

Defoe scored twice in last weekend’s 3:0 win at Fulham to take his tally for the season to nine goals and 130 altogether in two spells at Spurs.

The millionaire from a poor childhood in the East End of London is now eighth in the club’s ranking of all-time leading scorers. He keeps a ‘target list’ on a mirror in his gym at home. Another four goals will lift him to seventh above 1960s legend Alan Gilzean.

Spurs’ fans thought he might leave in the summer. Defoe’s contract had a year to run and other clubs were interested.

But after two difficult personal years, in which had to withstand the tragedy-tangled deaths of his father, a half-brother and a cousin, he decided he had endured enough upheavals in his life.

Defoe signed a new contract, accepted the challenge to his place from Emmanuel Adebayor, and set to work scoring the goals which have helped Villas-Boas survive an awkward start to the season.

Tottenham fans still have their doubts about Villas-Boas but Defoe does not, saying: “He is very thoughtful manager and coach, very knowledgeable about the game and a top man away from the pitch.”

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