Midweek Sport - - SPORTS -

JER­MAIN DE­FOE will keep his fin­gers crossed Roy Hodgson fi­nally finds his way to Sun­der­land as he bids to re­boot his Eng­land ca­reer. Hodgson’s (left) vis­its to Wear­side are al­most as rare as they are to Toronto. The striker in­sists his time with the Three Li­ons isn’t over, as he revealed his dev­as­ta­tion at be­ing left out of Hodgson’s World Cup squad. De­foe claims his 12-month stint in the MLS with Toronto FC wasn’t a mis­take, even though it played a big part in him miss­ing out on a place in Brazil. The 32-year-old is now back in the Pre­mier League at Sun­der­land, where ex­pec­ta­tions al­most match the eye-wa­ter­ing £70,000-a-week he will earn over the three-and-a-half years. But he in­sists he’ll thrive on it.

And if an in­ter­na­tional re­call ar­rives on the back of keep­ing Sun­der­land up, then so much the bet­ter.

“I was dev­as­tated to miss out on Brazil,” said De­foe. “I was in­volved in ev­ery squad in the run-up and I thought I was go­ing. When I got the phone call to say I wasn’t, it was hard. I’ve not spo­ken to Roy since then.

“I still want to play for my coun­try and we will see what hap­pens. If I’m scor­ing goals, I’d like to think I will get the chance to do that again.”

When it was pointed out that Hodgson has been to the Sta­dium of Light just once dur­ing his two-and-a-half year reign, Sun­der­land’s new boy said: “I can’t re­mem­ber see­ing him in Toronto!”

The lure of a re­turn home proved too great in the end.

De­foe added: “The Pre­mier League is the best in the world.

“I en­joyed it in Toronto and met some good peo­ple – I just missed the Pre­mier League.”

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