Defoe's flawless return in England win

Lallana also saw no reason why Defoe, who has scored 20 goals in 56 appearances for England, can not become a regular fixture for the country in time for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

The striker offered an insight into the sacrifices and lifestyle choices that have led to his global renaissance at the age of 34.

Gareth Southgate has offered Jermain Defoe hope of featuring for England at the 2018 World Cup if he maintains his form in the Premier League after the striker marked his return after three and a half years in the worldwide wilderness with the first goal in the defeat of Lithuania.

"I've got a better understanding of my body now".

The suggestion that Defoe must thrive in the Premier League carried implications that he might drop off the radar should Sunderland be relegated and the striker remain on Wearside.

I hope you had an unbelievable day @Bradleysfight. It's stuff I don't necessarily enjoy, but I'm trying to do it like I'm loving it.

"It's my girlfriend's idea, she said I have to do it and she puts on these documentaries about it".

"I had to keep my emotions in the beginning with little Brad with me", Defoe said after his first England appearance since November 2013. There's a lot of things I do away from training and playing that help me to perform on match day.

"I can't constrain myself on selection entirely, but I know ideally what I'd want to have".

Gareth Southgate hailed the positive impact that Jermain Defoe has had on his squad as England ran out 2-0 winners over Lithuania on Sunday. I don't find anything hard because I know the feeling I get scoring goals. "Because in my heart I felt like I'd done enough to be involved. I can not say any bad word about them".

"I'm pleased for the two lads who got the goals - [it's a] great story for Jermain".

Alli thrived in an advanced midfield role similar to the one he plays for Tottenham and is adamant Southgate's new methods must be embraced if the nation wants to be successful. There was times I was scoring goals, especially last season, and I wasn't selected for the Euros. Because I've worked so hard and I still feel sharp.

The 34-year-old has found the back of the net 14 times for his club this term and with current Spurs star Harry Kane out due to injury it was clear that he was the best fit for the job.

'But we know what going to Scotland is going to be like and we have to go and play on a plastic pitch in Lithuania.

"Even when I joined Toronto [in Major League Soccer], I never once thought: 'I'm going to retire from worldwide football.' That move was something I enjoyed and have no regrets about". Even if it's like a five-minute phone call.

One player at the opposite end of his career at the highest level is Burnley centre-back Michael Keane, who followed up his debut versus the world champions with an accomplished 90-minute showing alongside Manchester City's John Stones at the heart of defence.

  • Julie Sanders