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DEFOE OPTIMISTIC

Posted on 6 October 2005  - 12:00

Jermain Defoe hasn't given up hope of starting up front alongside Michael Owen in England's World Cup qualifier against Austria on Saturday.

Jermain Defoe hasn't given up hope of starting up front alongside Michael Owen in England's World Cup qualifier against Austria on Saturday.

All the England talk so far this week has been on two topics - the central defensive pairing and who will start alongside Owen at Old Trafford.

Most pundits have narrowed it down to a choice between in-form Charlton striker Darren Bent and Liverpool's 6ft 7ins ex-Spur Peter Crouch.

The argument against Jermain starting is that he and Owen are too similar.

But in a press conference yesterday, Jermain countered that argument. He said: "We played up front together against Poland and I thought it was great and if that happens again it will be good.

"The Poland game was great and then everything after that has happened so quickly what with my form with Spurs as well - I could not have wanted it to go any better.

I love playing for my country and club and scoring goals and if I get the chance I can do that again

"At the moment my form is good. We are flying at Spurs and I am scoring and setting up goals and hopefully I can bring that to England.

"People say that I am similar to Michael Owen but I have been working hard and trying to bring different things to my game.

"To be part of the squad is great but obviously to be playing more games would be better, but that is down to the manager."