Bournemouth forward Jermain Defoe believes he can make the difference for the Three Lions in Russia despite standing slim chance of being picked for much awaited World cup in June.
Defoe has struggled for game time at Bournemouth, though the 35-year-old scored a last-gasp equaliser in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Watford in the Premier League.
The 57-cap international has not started a Premier League match since December and while he admitted the situation is frustrating and far from ideal, Defoe is confident he can make an impact for England if called upon by manager Gareth Southgate. He however noted that the entire game is not just about starting but getting and converting an opportunity.
“I would come on and win the World Cup, it’s as simple as that,” Defoe said.
“You come on for one minute, two minutes, and if there’s a chance you score. At a tournament, it is not just about the players who start, it’s about the squad. It has been a stop-start season for me but I can’t sulk.”
“No-one wants to sit on the bench,” Defoe said. “If you get to the point where you accept sitting on the bench then you shouldn’t be playing. I know there are still a lot more goals in me.
“I came here [in the summer] as an England player. I worked so hard to get back in that squad.
“I have missed the last three squads because I am not playing. I spoke to the manager a few months ago and it’s as simple as that – you have got to be playing and scoring goals.
“I understand I have got to be playing. You can’t just assume you are going to get in the squad because of what you have done over the years.”
The Three lions have been pitched against Tunisia, Belgium and Panama in Russia. As part of the build up the Southgate led team played out a 1-1 draw against the Azzuris of Italy in an international friendly. The team is also scheduled to face Super Eagles in another international friendly billed for the Wimbley Stadium on June 2nd. The likes of Defoe dreaming of joining the party to Russia will no doubt be hoping that he maintains a form good enough to attract the attention of the technical crew. England won the World cup in 1966 but failed to go past the group stage at the last edition in 2014 in Brazil