Monday, February 2, 2015

Defoe still has England hopes

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has insisted he can win his place back in the England squad

Defoe scored his first goal for the club following a January move from Toronto FC and hopes to establish himself at the club after signing a four year contract.

"If you look over the years, the goalscorers that have been here and the players that have scored goals, like Kevin Phillips, Darren Bent, and they're heroes," he said. "You look at that and you think if I can do that, then that will be great for everyone.

"As a forward, you get judged on scoring goals, it's as simple as that, so you want to get off to a good start, get off the mark, and get your first goal.

"I was lucky enough to do that at the weekend and it was a great feeling. The fans are fantastic and it was a great win. Winning 2-0 was well deserved and a win we needed. "

After a year in the MLS with Toronto FC, Defoe has returned to England, aiming to keep Sunderland in the Premier League.

During his time with Torono, Defoe never received an England call-up, however aims to build on his 55 caps for his country.

"At the end of the day, I'm not retired," he said. "I went away to the MLS, and lost my place in the squad.

"Obviously it's in the back of my mind, coming back into the Premier League. Hopefully I can get my head down, keep scoring goals and I get an opportunity again. It's based on merit as if you're scoring goals, at some point you deserve a chance. "

Defoe has also backed his former Tottenham team-mate to succeed for England, should he be included in Roy Hodgson's next squad.

Kane, who signed a new contract at White Hart Lane on Sunday, has excelled this season and there has been calls for him to earn international recognition.

"To get into the England squad or any international squad, it's based on merit. If it's based on merit and he's scoring goals, at some point he's got to be close. "

"It's not surprised me with the amount of goals he's scored, though. When I was at Tottenham I saw a young kid come through. I remember when he played in the reserves and I'd say to him, "H, how many goals have you scored?" He always scored two or three goals in every game reserves.

"If you've got a young kid scoring three or four goals every game in the reserves, at some point he's got to get a chance. Training with the first team, he was scoring goals easy. He's a natural goalscorer.

"Now he's got 20 goals already at this stage of the season. That's unbelievable. It's the hardest thing to do, score goals, and for a young lad to come in and score that many goals already, it's amazing.

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