Defoe in the running for World Cup spot, says Southgate

Jermain Defoe is targeting a "strong" finish to the season with relegation-threatened Sunderland - as he he hopes to clinch a place in the England squad for June's World Cup qualifier against Scotland.

"When you're building an worldwide team, Jermain Defoe is a classic example - his whole life has been a desire to play for England right from Under-16s all the way through. His performances and his goalscoring form this season have counted for him".

Defoe could even head to Russian Federation next summer at the age of 35.

"I didn't get a call".

"He is all about goals but I think his link-up play at times was superb". "It was special just to be back and playing with the lads is a great feeling".

The Three Lions cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Lithuania on Sunday afternoon, which handed Southgate his first win since being appointed manager on a permanent basis.

Sunderland striker Defoe, 34, scored the opener as England toiled to a 2-0 qualifying win over Lithuania on Sunday, following close to three and a half years in the worldwide wilderness.

"We'd have liked a bit more but I think really only one team came to win the game and it's always hard to break down a packed defence as we did", Southgate told ITV.

"With the previous manager I didn't really feel I was getting the opportunity".

He has to be playing regularly in the Premier League to have any chance of going to the World Cup.

"He's a player we really like", Southgate said of Manchester City winger Sterling.

Liverpool midfielder, Adam Lallana, has ushered heaps of praise on his England teammate, Jermain Defoe, in comments appearing in the Evening Standard, saying the Sunderland striker is a great role model.

Now he has revealed it's his new vegan diet which is helping him defy the years.

"I'm into sports science".

"I can't constrain myself on selection entirely, but I know ideally what I'd want to have". "Lithuania were a better team than they gave themselves credit for".

"He was thrilled to be back involved in the squad, I think he has enjoyed his week immensely. So just make sure I'm doing the cryotherapy, massage, eating the right things".

"I'm trying. I eat a lot of fish, but I'm trying". She puts on these documentaries and stuff.

"That's a amusing one because when I go to my mum's she's got every kind of meat you can imagine out on the table". And he revealed the heartbreak he suffered when previous England coach Roy Hodgson ignored him for the Brazil finals four years ago.

The blissful sensation of scoring for England in front of his family and the seriously ill young Sunderland fan he has befriended made everyone of those ice baths, tofu dinners and early morning fitness sessions worth the effort.

"I had to to score", said Defoe.

" The reality is that you will always lose players to injury. I'm 34 and still scoring goals for my country".

  • Julie Sanders