Defoe targeting England return

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Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe hasn’t given up hope of being part of England manager Fabio Capello’s first choice front-line ahead of the European Championships next summer.

And the Spurs ace went on to say that the emergence of Andy Carroll has spurred him on even further to cement his place in the side alongside Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

"Under Fabio Capello, my goal-scoring record's been good," said Defoe. "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."


Carroll looks set to partner Rooney in this weekend’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, but Defoe remains positive he will be given his chance.

"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," he said.

Defoe has spent a considerable amount of the season sidelined by injury, but the 28-year-old star made his long-awaited return to form when he scored twice in the recent goal-fest that saw Spurs draw 3-3 with Wolves at Molineux.

The injury that has blighted most of Defoe’s season came soon after he scored a hat-trick on international duty against Bulgaria, and in his absence it was Carroll who burst onto the England scene in November’s friendly loss to France.

Remarkably, Defoe has not played for the full 90 minutes in any of his 45 international appearances for England despite a return of 15 goals.

He has made 28 appearances as a substitute, which is a record number for an England player, and has been substituted in all of his 17 starts.

With that in mind, Defoe can be regarded as one of the more experienced players in Capello’s latest squad, so the Spurs striker will be hoping that that experience will be called upon at some point during the next two fixtures.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Jermain Defoe

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