Harry Redknapp's side are fourth in the Premier League this time around and with seven games to go Defoe is confident.
He said in his column in the Daily Mirror: "I’m enjoying the race for fourth place this time around much more than three years ago. Our squad at Tottenham is much better and we’ve got a lot more confidence not only in the players around us but also the way we are playing.
"The clincher though is the manager. Harry Redknapp really does know how to get the best out of his players and is a completely different sort of guy to Martin Jol who was in charge when we missed out three years ago.
"If Martin froze you out, you were out. Harry, though, has more belief in the players, he motivates us far better and he is more skilled in helping us to realise our potential.
"You only have to see the impact he has had on Gareth Bale, Roman Pavlyuchenko and David Bentley to see how much we all want to play for him.
"In football you always get spats between managers and players but Harry doesn’t hold grudges.
"He gets you to realise that he only wants what is best for the team and that if we play well we will get into the team.
"Last time we were going for the Champions League things were so tight and tense and it ended up being so close. But we are far more relaxed this time around."