October 12, 2017 / 11:10 AM / 10 months ago

Defoe targeting England call-up for 2018 World Cup

(Reuters) - Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe believes that he needs a high-scoring season for his club to boost his chances of being named in the England squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - England Training - LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania - October 7, 2017 England's Jermain Defoe and Harry Winks during training Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Defoe’s goalscoring exploits for former club Sunderland last campaign earned him a recall to Gareth Southgate’s team in March and the veteran is hopeful that a repeat performance at Bournemouth this year can propel him to his second World Cup finals.

“In a World Cup year, you always want to do well for your club because it is based on merit... As a forward, you have got to be scoring goals to get into the squad,” Defoe, 35, told Sky Sports.

“I think having played in a World Cup, having had that experience... just everything involved in being at a World Cup is so special.

“It’s the pinnacle and to get the opportunity again would be really special, especially with this group of players.”

Defoe was omitted from the England squad for the 2014 World Cup but says the snub motivates him further to claim a spot this time around.

“Even to this day, I believe I should have gone,” Defoe added. “I felt sharp and I just felt I should have gone, to be honest. It was a massive disappointment and that motivates me to think that because I missed that one, I want to go to the next one.”

Defoe will be looking to improve his record of one goal in the opening seven league fixtures when Bournemouth travel to Wembley to take on his former club Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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