Defoe: England can stay unbeaten

Salisbury Journal: England's Jermain Defoe (right) in action against Ukraine England's Jermain Defoe (right) in action against Ukraine

Jermain Defoe backed England to go through World Cup qualifying unbeaten after helping them snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat against Ukraine.

Striker Defoe claimed Frank Lampard's late equaliser from the penalty spot in the 1-1 draw at Wembley proved the Three Lions had the "winning mentality" needed to top Group H.

Defoe said he had no fear at any stage that England would lose and added: "We've got a lot of games left to play. It doesn't look like we're going to get beaten, to be fair we're playing games and we believe we won't get beaten. So that's good we've got a winning mentality. Just unlucky that we didn't actually win the game."

England were within three minutes of losing a competitive game at home for the first time in five years after being outplayed for long periods by opponents they beat at this summer's European Championship.

A draw saw them drop from first to second in the group but it could have been even worse, which would have been a worrying setback with tough-looking trips to Poland, Montenegro and Ukraine still to come.

Defoe did not enjoy the rub of the green after seeing what would have been a superb goal chalked off for a push. The quality of his strike was a further riposte to those who claim the diminutive 29-year-old cannot operate as a lone frontman.

Manager Roy Hodgson clearly believes otherwise after handing him rare back-to-back competitive starts in the past week, with Tuesday night the first time the striker had played the full match in his 51 caps for his country.

Although frustrated at being unable to celebrate the amazing landmark with his third goal in as many games, Defoe said: "It's always nice when you get to play, helps your confidence.

"I'm playing with good players. It makes it a lot easier. And even if I'm playing that lone role up front on my own, it's not a problem. The lads get close to me, service is good, and it's something I'm enjoying."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree