The England striker, twice left out of the squad by Martin Jol, says the daily double training sessions imposed by the new manager have alarmed a few but set the standard.
Defoe said: "I've dipped out of the picture a bit with England which I can understand, because any player who is not playing for club every week is not going to be an automatic selection for his country. Maybe I have been held back in the last year, but the new manager speaks to me, which is important. He lets me know where I stand.
"The England manager spoke to me and explained that I needed to play games and then I'd get my chance. When I'm playing and I'm on form, hopefully it follows that I'll get the chance to show what I can do for England."
Defoe was disillusioned because Jol just left him out of the team without telling him the reasons.
He was axed from the 16-man squad for the clashes with Bolton and Newcastle by Martin Jol and added: "That's the first time I'd ever been left out of the squad during my time in first-team football.
"It was harsh and it was hard to take, but everyone is looking forward to the challenge under the new regime. We're good enough to string some results together and we'll be all right. In the short space of time he's been at the club you can see Mr Ramos has made an impression. He speaks to me and sometimes all you need is for someone to put an arm around you, give you confidence and wish you luck."
Defoe was overjoyed when he found out he would be starting at Boro and said: "It's still a great feeling when he came up to me and said to me 'you're playing, all the best.'
"It would have been even better if we'd got the result to go with it. The goal Luke Young scored was one in a million and there's not much you can do about it.
"Overall we deserved to win. I do feel I've got some catching up to do.
"I just want to be involved in all the games and I've proved when I play that I score goals. And in a team like this you're always going to get chances."