Football

Defoe knows he must play to realise World Cup ambitions

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Defoe was on target against Slovenia at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. (©GettyImages)
Defoe was on target against Slovenia at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. (©GettyImages).

England are yet to seal their place at next summer's World Cup, yet players are already talking about what they need to do to make the squad.

Jermain Defoe is yet to start a league game for Tottenham Hotspur this season and knows he'll have to force his way into the starting XI if he's to earn himself a place in Roy Hodgson's squad.

Defoe has struggled to dislodge Roberto Soldado from the Spurs team in the early stages of the season, starting just once in the Europa League as the £26million summer signing continues to be Andre Villas-Boas' first choice striker.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the former Portsmouth and West Ham man admitted his frustration, saying: "In a World Cup year you have got to play, it's as simple as that.

"It has been really frustrating. When you have played in a World Cup and have been involved with the England squad for a number of years, it's just the best thing in the world - representing your country at that level. You want to play.

"To get into any England squad, it's based on merit. So you have got to play, I understand that. I also understand that it's a long season, there are so many games to go and a lot of football to be played. I just have to try and keep myself sharp and fit."

Defoe made his England debut against Sweden in 2004 and has gone on to amass 54 caps for the Three Lions, the last of which came at Wembley in an end-of-season friendly against the Republic of Ireland in May.

Since that friendly, Defoe, who was part of the England squad that travelled to South Africa in 2010, has seen himself fall down the pecking order behind the likes of Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and Southampton hit-man Rickie Lambert, and the Spurs man knows he'll have to get more minutes under his belt if he's to go to a second World Cup.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
England Football
Football
Jermain Defoe
Premier League
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