Defoe reveals World Cup hopes

02 April 2018 05:24:13 EST

Jermain Defoe has not given up hope of being in England boss Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad in Russia this summer.

The 35-year-old was recalled by Southgate last year after he scored 15 goals for a struggling Sunderland side in the Premier League.

Defoe played and scored against Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier just over 12 months ago, while his last appearance for the Three Lions was in June.

He then moved from the relegated Black Cats to Bournemouth and was was an unused substitute for England on three occasions in September and October.

You've got to be playing, you've got to be performing and you've got to be scoring goals. Once I start doing that I will feel I'm ready to go now.

Jermain Defoe

Defoe has struggled for regular game-time with the Cherries, while an ankle problem has also hampered his progress at the Vitality Stadium.

That has resulted in him being overlooked for Southgate's past three squads and it now looks a tall order for him to be involved in the World Cup.

But Defoe still has hope after he stepped off the substitutes' bench to snatch an injury-time equaliser for the Cherries in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Watford.

"I worked so hard to get back in the squad and signed for Bournemouth as an England player," Defoe said.

"I spoke to the manager a few months ago and I understand I have got to be playing. You can't just assume you're going to get in the squad because of what you have done over the years.

"You've got to be playing, you've got to be performing and you've got to be scoring goals. Once I start doing that I will feel I'm ready to go now.

"If I can get a run of games I am going to score goals because it's something I have always done."

Defoe is 25/1 to be in the World Cup finals squad, while rival striker Danny Welbeck is available at 8/11 to be involved along with near-certainties Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford.

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