Despite bracing himself for another setback, Defoe refused to be discouraged at the prospect of losing out to Carroll.
"It makes you more hungry," said Defoe, who looked to have forged a dynamic partnership with Wayne Rooney in September's thrashing of Bulgaria before injury struck.
"Under Fabio Capello, my goalscoring record's been good.
"I've been given the opportunity and I've scored goals - and the manager knows that.
"I think he knows now what I can do and it's a case of just waiting for my opportunity again.
"If I don't play at the weekend and I'm on the bench, I'll be focused to try to come on and make an impact."