Defoe optimistic about England chances

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The former Tottenham striker has not featured for the Three Lions in a number of years, but his prolific form has pushed him back into the reckoning

Jermain Defoe says it is "nice" that people want to see him back in the England squad, insisting that he remains positive about his chances of an international recall.

The 34-year-old has been one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League in the last two seasons, notching 14 goals for Sunderland this term as the Black Cats fight to avoid relegation.

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His form for David Moyes' side has led to calls for the former Tottenham hitman to return to the international squad, with games against Germany and Lithuania to come in March.

"I feel like I should have been involved last season if it's based on merit and stats - on who's scoring goals," Defoe told Sky Sports ahead of Sunderland's clash with Manchester City.

"I was in the England squad for like 10 years, and probably most of that time I was at Tottenham scoring goals.

"There were times where I wasn't even playing but I was still in the squad because of the goals I scored before.

"So I don't know. I've always been a positive person, but there comes a time where you think: 'Is it really going to happen?'

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"All I can do is keep playing well. The English fans - I read some nice stuff on social media and in the press too. So for me it's a nice feeling that people want me back into the squad.

"At the end of the day it's up to the manager so we'll see."

Defoe has made 55 appearances for England during his career, scoring 19 times. His last international appearance came in 2013 against San Marino, where he scored twice in an 8-0 win.