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'JD' is optimistic for a better beginning come August as Spurs prepare to meet Barcelona tonight...

Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe believes the club can avoid a repeat of last season's nightmare Premier League start this year.

Defoe started the 2008-09 campaign at Portsmouth as Spurs suffered a disastrous beginning in the league, accumulating just two points from their first eight games.

But the England international is confident Tottenham can get off to a flyer this time around, as their pre-season preparations continue with the Wembley Cup tonight.

"After these two games, hopefully we can get that push closer to the league," Defoe told the press ahead of Spurs' meeting with Barcelona.

"It's always important to make a good start, it sets you on your way.

"We've got fantastic players in the squad, so I don't see why we can't make a good start."

Lilywhites boss Harry Redknapp has injury worries ahead of the opening game against Liverpool on 15 August.

Central defenders Michael Dawson and Jonathan Woodgate are both struggling to make the first day of the new season, and Ledley King is yet to kick a ball this summer.

Strikers Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko are also struggling but are expected to be fit and available for the clash at White Hart Lane.

Jamie Dunn, Goal.com

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