Saturday, 05 September, 2009
Striker happy with match-winning role.
England hero Jermain Defoe admitted he will settle for a place on the subs bench against Croatia on Wednesday if it means he can come on and score the winner again.
The Tottenham striker scored the winning goal against Slovenia after coming off the bench at half-time, to add to the double he scored in Holland last month as a second-half substitute.
Defoe saw Frank Lampard put England ahead from the penalty spot after Wayne Rooney was fouled in the first half, and then gave The Three Lions a two-goal lead with a sharp shot on the turn midway through the second half.
Although Slovenia snatched a late consolation goal, England go into Wednesday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Croatia in good form, and none more so than Defoe, who is in red hot form for both club and country.
“Playing with good players, you're obviously going to get the opportunities to score goals or get in the position to score, and at the minute everything I am hitting is going in so I’m delighted,” he said.
So does he expect to start against Croatia?
“I don’t know, the Manager picks the team. Everybody is playing well, Emile and Wazza up front are fantastic. Everybody wants to play and no-one wants to sit on the bench, but at the end of the day, if I can come and make an impact like I did again, then I will do that. I’ll just keep working hard and see what happens.”
But it was hard work on the training ground that paid off for Fabio Capello’s men, as Defoe admitted. “The first half was good, and it was a good performance from the lads.
"We did exactly what the manager wanted us to do. Before the last game, in Holland, we didn’t do much in training because it was a quick trip, just three days, but this time we did a lot in training and I think that showed tonight.”