Jermain Defoe has admitted that not playing regularly is frustrating but insists he will never allow himself to start thinking negatively.
Defoe was not able to cement a place in Harry Redknapp’s starting XI at Tottenham last season but still made an important contribution, netting crucial goals from the substitutes’ bench.
He has also remained in England’s plans and on Wednesday boosted his claims for further international caps with a stunning winning goal against Italy.
The 29-year-old now hopes to keep his good form going for Spurs during the early part of the season and take any chances that come along with England.
“Not playing regularly is frustrating but all you can do as a player is make sure you are still around and still in the squad,” he said in The Sun.
“I’ve always said that once you get a chance, you’ve got to take it and after that you leave it down to the manager.
“So I’ll go back to the club and hopefully get off to a good start, then leave it down to the manager.
“What I would say is that every time I get called up for England, if I’m fit I’ll be ready and will always give it my all.”
Something to prove
Defoe says he will never let the disappointment of not playing affect his mentality, and he always strives to make an impression in training.
He explained: “If you speak to the manager, he will always tell you I work hard in training. I am not one of those players that will sulk or anything like that.
“I just keep it going because if you sulk and then do get a chance, your head has gone and you can’t really perform.
“I’ve never been a sulker. I’ve always waited for my chance and when I get one, make sure I grab it with both hands. Even though it is early in the season, I enjoyed getting the goal.
“You want to have a good season for the club and always feel you have got something to prove.”