Defoe ready to plough lone furrow for England
England striker Jermain Defoe is expecting a tough match against Moldova this week and believes the first goal will be vital.
Roy Hodgson’s men begin their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign on Friday and the Tottenham Hotspur forward has warned his team-mates not to take the hosts lightly.
“At this level every game is difficult,” he said. “They 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.”
England will be without Wayne Rooney for the clash with reports suggesting that Hodgson could elect to play just one striker. “I have been playing the lone striker for my club and I have enjoyed it,” Defoe said.
“To be honest playing with good players it is not really a problem if people get close.
“It we get to control the game in midfield, when we get a chance, we have to take it.”
Defoe, who signed a contract extension at Spurs last week amid speculation that he might have left White Hart Lane before the transfer window closed, added: “I think it will be a difficult game.
“You look at the fixtures and some might think it should be an easy game. It’s important to be professional and patient and it helps when you get an early goal. It’s going to be difficult and the first 20 minutes will be really important. They’re two big games and, if we can win them, it will be good for everyone.”
With striker Andy Carroll also ruled out with a hamstring injury Defoe is the man most likely to lead the front line. Young forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has denied, however, that the onus will fall only on the creative players to unlock Moldova.
“It’s not just a responsibility on us, there’s a responsibility on everyone – we’re playing for England,” said the Arsenal player. “There’s goals all over the team. I think Phil Jagielka scored in the last game. We’ll be all looking to score. I don’t think there’s too much pressure on one individual position.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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