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West Ham’s Cottee: I would welcome Jermain Defoe back with open arms

PUBLISHED: 12:30 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:30 29 March 2017

West Ham legend Tony Cottee

West Ham legend Tony Cottee

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Our West Ham Columnist eyes a must-not-lose game at Hull City on Saturday

England's Jermain Defoe scores his sides opening goal during the World Cup Qualifying match at Wembley Stadium, London. England's Jermain Defoe scores his sides opening goal during the World Cup Qualifying match at Wembley Stadium, London.

It was England on Sunday at Wembley where I am a season ticket holder, but I have to admit that I didn’t bother to go.

It was Mothers’ Day and, I think like a lot of people, that proved to be more of a priority that watching England v Lithunia.

I watched the highlights of both games and it looked like we played well in Germany and lost, and played pretty poorly on Sunday and won and those results were in the correct order.

Jermain Defoe returned to the England team and scored a goal and there are rumours that he will return to West Ham in the summer.

England's Jermain Defoe during the World Cup qualifying match against Lithuania at Wembley Stadium (pic Adamy Davy/PA) England's Jermain Defoe during the World Cup qualifying match against Lithuania at Wembley Stadium (pic Adamy Davy/PA)

I for one will be delighted to see him back for us.

I know there is history with the way he left, but that was 14 years ago when he was just 20. Some fans have long memories, but if he comes back and starts 
scoring, then I think all will be forgiven.

There are very few natural goalscorers around. For me the likes of Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Clive Allen and Defoe are a dying breed, and the prospect of him playing up front with Andy Carroll is a mouthwatering one for me.

There are players who have returned to West Ham, including myself, and I remember on my second debut I was sent off at Liverpool and banned for three matches, which wasn’t a great start!

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United  at Vitality Stadium on March 11, 2017 BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United at Vitality Stadium on March 11, 2017

My first game back we beat Villa 1-0 and I scored the goal, so that got me back onside with the fans.

There are rumours going around that Slaven Bilic could be replaced by the likes of Roberto Mancini or even Jaap Stam and I for one simply don’t understand it.

The easiest way to stop these rumours is to give Slav a new three-year deal and tell him to get on with it or even a one-year rolling contract, because otherwise he is going to come under a lot of uneccesary pressure.

It is ridiculous when you are asking players like Michail Antonio or Winston Reid to commit themselves to the club for the next four or five years when the manager has only got one year left.

I think he has coped well this season under a lot of pressure and for me there is no-one better to do the job.

It is Hull City on Saturday and it is not a must-win game, it is a must-not-lose match. We know it is going to be tough, especially with our injuries, and like Bournemouth and Leicester before them, Hull will be battling for their lives.

We have the ability to beat them, but I am going for a 1-1 draw. COYI!

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