Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Jermain Defoe is desperate to remind Fabio Capello what he has been missing when the Three Lions meet Brazil in Doha on Saturday.
Defoe was in the form of his life for his country before missing last month’s World Cup qualifiers against the Ukraine and Belarus after suffering a broken hand.
Spurs team-mate Peter Crouch took full advantage of Defoe’s absence, with the giant forward bagging a brace in England’s final qualifier against Belarus at Wembley.
But the diminutive goal-getter, back in the international setup and free from injury, now has his sights set firmly on re-establishing himself at the forefront of Capello’s mind and rediscovering a similar rich vein of goalscoring form.
“Do I need to re-establish myself? I think so,” he said.
“Peter Crouch came in the last time and played well, and he is a fantastic player.
“It was frustrating to miss out through injury and when you get an opportunity you have to take it. You have to make an impact.”
The 27-year-old has netted five times in his last four England appearances, all as a substitute.
But with competition for places hotting up ahead of the World Cup finals, Defoe is now looking to earn himself a starting place to prove he is capable of being much more than just an impact replacement.
“I don’t want to have the title of super-sub but when you don’t start it is important you try and make an impression when you come off the bench,” he said.
“I haven’t started a game for England in 2009 and if the first one was against Brazil it would be special because they are the side that everyone wants to play against.”
And Defoe admitted Saturday’s encounter represents a perfect opportunity for England to build confidence and maintain a winning mentality before the team fly out to South Africa next summer.
“To win against Brazil would be brilliant. It is a good fixture for us and will give us a chance to see how far we have come.
“Of course, it is a friendly and there are players injured and missing, but it is important to get a winning mentality before the World Cup.”comments