No final appearance for Defoe
Jermain Defoe has been denied the opportunity to represent Tottenham one last time after being ruled out of the Europa League last-32 second-leg tie against Dnipro.
Defoe has made just two appearances for Tottenham since his transfer to Major Soccer League side Toronto FC was announced in January but he had hoped to play one last game for the club before he departs for Canada.
A hamstring injury has prevented the striker from featuring for the club in recent weeks and manager Tim Sherwood admits he will not be available for Thursday’s clash.
“Unfortunately he’s not fit,” said Sherwood. “He’ll be at the game to say his goodbyes at half-time, hopefully.”
Sherwood used his pre-match press conference to pay tribute to Defoe.
“Obviously you would argue that there’s Jimmy Greaves, but Jermain Defoe is possibly one of the best goalscorers this club’s ever seen. Let’s hope we can find another one like Jermain Defoe because he’s all about goals,” he added.
“Whenever he pulled on the Tottenham shirt he always played with his heart and spirit for the club and gave everything, and everyone appreciates his efforts here. He certainly will be a legend at the club.”
Defoe’s departure will do little to ease the pressure on Roberto Soldado, who has yet to score in 2014, but Sherwood is confident he will rediscover his scoring touch.
“Robbie knows that his time’s come, and hopefully that is tomorrow. He’ll be playing tomorrow and hopefully we can see him hitting the back of the net,” Sherwood added.
“We know what he can do. He’s a top player, otherwise he wouldn’t be at the club. Now’s the time for one to ricochet off his backside and go in.
“The confidence comes flooding back and then he can go on a run, which [Emmanuel] Adebayor’s had since I’ve come in. It would be handy if the two of them are scoring.