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Defoe: My extra experience means I must perform for England

The Tottenham man is the most experienced forward in the current England squad and is hoping to help his country to a positive start as its road to Brazil gets underway

Jermain Defoe has admitted to feeling a heightened level of responsibility ahead of England's clash with Moldova in its opening World Cup 2014 qualification match thanks to the youthful nature of the striking options around him.

The 29-year-old has been selected alongside Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck in his squad – with Andy Carroll having to withdraw through injury - comfortably making the Tottenham man the most experienced forward available to Roy Hodgson.

And Defoe has admitted that he feels added pressure, but is keen to make the most of any opportunities afforded to him.

“Yes [there is more responsibility]. There is more responsibility on the whole squad. We don't know what the team is going to be yet,” he told reporters.

"It's a case of training well, working hard and if you're selected you have to take the opportunity with both hands.

"At this level every game is difficult. [Moldova] will make it hard and sit behind the ball and try to frustrate us.

"I have played in a number of games against the so-called smaller countries and it's difficult to get the first goal. It will be a difficult game, when we get the first goal we can go and get the second."

The Tottenham striker, who has recently penned a new three-year deal at White Hart Lane, was delighted to score in England’s 2-1 win friendly win over Italy last month, adding that it gave him more confidence when pulling on an England shirt.

“When you play for your country, you always want to score goals,” he continued.

“It was important to win the game against Italy. It was the first international game of the season so to get off to a winning start was important and it was nice to get the goal.

"Everything changes now you play for points but even in friendlies you need that winning mentality. Even though you're not playing for points you still want to win the game because at this level every game is going to be difficult."

 

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