Eng­land boys are buzzing says De­foe

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds -

JER­MAIn De­foe hailed a great per­for­mance through­out the Eng­land team af­ter Wed­nes­day’s 1-0 win over Slove­nia se­cured a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

De­foe’s first-half goal was the dif­fer­ence be­tween Fabio Capello’s side and the Slove­ni­ans as eng­land set up a meet­ing with Ger­many in Bloemfontein on Sun­day.

“The lads are buzzing - it was a great per­for­mance, not just win­ning the game but a great per­for­mance from front to back,” De­foe said.

“The spirit’s great and we’re look­ing for­ward to it.”

The Tot­ten­ham striker ad­mit­ted he would rather have avoided the Ger­mans, with a match against Ghana next up for group win­ners the United States.

He added: “It would have been nice to have faced Ghana but, to win a ma­jor tour­na­ment, you’re go­ing to have to beat the best.

“But we’ll just ap­proach it like any other game.”

The build-up to the Slove­nia game was filled with re­ports of fric­tion in the eng­land camp fol­low­ing John Terry’s con­tro­ver­sial press con­fer­ence.

But De­foe said: “Prepa­ra­tion be­fore the game was spot-on. The lads are putting the work in and if you’re do­ing that work on the train­ing pitch then you take that into the game.

“The work-rate and the pas­sion were there.

“I don’t think there were any prob­lems to be hon­est. ob­vi­ously when you’re not win­ning games, ev­ery­one’s low but when you’re win­ning ev­ery­one’s sharp and happy.”

De­foe re­vealed Capello had kept up the spir­its of the play­ers af­ter the first two games de­spite the sit­u­a­tion they found them­selves in.

The Ital­ian al­lowed his play­ers to have a drink on Tues­day and was re­warded with a dis­play that showed far more char­ac­ter than the open­ing games.

De­foe said: “The man­ager is just try­ing to get us re­laxed. He’s been great. He said ‘keep it go­ing, we are a fan­tas­tic team’.

“It’s nice to hear. He kept the faith and it’s been re­ally good.

“Af­ter the first game he said ‘keep go­ing . . . I be­lieve we can win this world Cup’.”

The 27-year-old be­lieves eng­land’s be­low-par per­for­mances can be at­trib­uted to ten­sion and a de­sire to suc­ceed.

“In a mas­sive tour­na­ment it’s nor­mal to be a bit tense - you want to do well. we’ve seen that with other games with other coun­tries.

“wed­nes­day was more re­laxed. The man­ager wanted us to press higher and the work-rate was spot on.”

The Tot­ten­ham striker also dis­missed Franz Beck­en­bauer’s claim the team were ‘burnt out’ fol­low­ing a de­mand­ing do­mes­tic sea­son.

“I don’t feel tired,” added De­foe. “The Premier league is one of the tough­est to play in. There are lots of games, par­tic­u­larly for the lads play­ing in europe and there’s the cup com­pe­ti­tions.

“If you look af­ter your body and pre­pare right there shouldn’t be a prob­lem. The prepa­ra­tion is spot on for ev­ery game.”

As for his win­ning goal, the for­mer west Ham for­ward ad­mit­ted it was one of the high­est points of his ca­reer so far.

“It was up there. what a moment. You can imag­ine the phone calls and texts.

“It was hard to find words. It was some­thing I dreamed about as a young lad and all through the sea­son.”

De­foe also re­vealed eng­land had been prac­tis­ing penal­ties should they be re­quired at the week­end.

He said: “ever since the train­ing camp in Aus­tria, ev­ery­one has been prac­tis­ing them. But I hope it doesn’t have to go that far.”

Asked if he would vol­un­teer to take a spot-kick in a shoot-out, he added: “Yes, 100 per cent.”

HIGH SPIR­ITS: Jer­main De­fore at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

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