Daily Mail - - International Football - JACK GAUGHAN

ROY HODG­SON spoke to Jer­main De­foe just once as Eng­land man­ager — a call with bad news be­fore the 2014 World Cup. De­foe, who moved to Toronto from Tot­ten­ham three months be­fore the fi­nals in Brazil, has earned a sen­sa­tional re­turn to the in­ter­na­tional fold af­ter an ex­ile of more than three years. The Sun­der­land striker thought his chance with Eng­land had gone — even though he kept the St George’s flag stitched on to his boots. ‘We only had one con­ver­sa­tion with him on the phone,’ De­foe said. ‘Up un­til then I had played a full sea­son with Tot­ten­ham. It was a quick con­ver­sa­tion, “You are not in­cluded”. I was scor­ing goals, so maybe I felt like I had done enough to still go to the tour­na­ment, but ob­vi­ously it was not meant to be. It was a hard phone call to ac­cept be­cause I felt in my heart I did enough to get on the plane.’ De­foe ad­mit­ted he needs to re­main in the Premier League next sea­son to stand any chance of go­ing to Rus­sia, which could have im­pli­ca­tions if Sun­der­land — cur­rently bot­tom of the ta­ble and seven points from safety — are rel­e­gated. He added: ‘I sat back (in Toronto) and thought if I have still got that am­bi­tion to play for Eng­land I need to be play­ing in the Premier League again. That was prob­a­bly be­hind my de­ci­sion to come back.’

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