Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe gives his reaction to England Euro 2016 snub
Jermain Defoe has pledged to remain available for England, despite admitting his disappointment at being left out of the Euro 2016 squad.
England boss Roy Hodgson opted for 18-year-old Marcus Rashford, rather than Defoe, in his initial 26-man party for the summer's tournament, despite the Sunderland striker netting 15 Premier League goals this season.
Defoe hasn't appeared for his country in more than two-and-a-half years, but says he will remain available Hodgson if he is needed.
"I've never retired and I'll never turn my back on England because I still believe I can score goals at that level," he said. "
"That's what's kept me going, and one of the reasons I came back from the MLS.
"I just feel like I've done everything that I could do. I'm delighted that Sunderland stayed up and on a personal note, I'm delighted with the amount of goals that I've scored.
"That's all I could do, really."
Defoe was not expecting to be included in Hodgson's plans, yet his goal return in keeping Sunderland in the Premier League had put his name back in contention.
"Obviously I've not been involved with England for quite a while and I've always thought that getting into an England squad before a tournament is based on merit," he added on Sky Sports.
"As a forward if you score goals then you've got a chance of going.
"Towards the end of the season I started thinking about it but before I wasn't. I was so focused on trying to help Sunderland stay in the Premier League.
"It's only when you see things in the papers and people start talking about it - just mentioning my name about maybe getting into the squad - then I started thinking about it.
"So obviously, when you're not in the squad, it's a disappointment."