Jermain Defoe is looking to re-establish himself at the forefront of Fabio Capello's plans when England tackle Brazil in Doha on Saturday.
Defoe was in a rich vein of goal-scoring form for his country before a broken hand meant he was not chosen for last month's FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers with the Ukraine and Belarus. In his absence Peter Crouch took full advantage with a double against Belarus as England ended their qualifying campaign at Wembley in style.
Defoe has not started a game for England during 2009, having made telling contributions as a substitute, but he would be delighted to earn a rare start against the Brazilians. Defoe said: "Do I need to re-establish myself? I think so. Peter Crouch came in the last time and played well, and he is a fantastic player.
When you get an opportunity, you have got to take it. You have to make an impact.
"It was frustrating to miss out through injury and when you get an opportunity, you have got to take it. You have to make an impact. I don't want to have the title of super-sub but when you don't start it is important you try and make an impression when you come off the bench.
"I haven't started a game for England in 2009 and if the first one was against Brazil it would be special because they are the side that everyone wants to play against."
Defoe has monitored the debate over diving in football and believes such actions do not create a good impression. He said: "It is not something I would do deliberately. People don't want to see it in the game. We know as players you shouldn't cheat. It does not look good on television but you have got to realise everyone is trying to win games."
Defoe believes that his Spurs team-mate Tom Huddlestone could stake a late claim to be part of Capello's FIFA World Cup plans after being named in the squad to face Brazil. He said: "Tom is a fantastic player and he deserves this call-up. He was in the squad last year against Trinidad and Tobago and did well in training and he is a natural footballer.
"If he gets the opportunity, he will be ready. He could force his way into contention for the World Cup and he scored a fantastic goal at the weekend but ultimately it is up to the England manager."
Defoe admitted: "To win against Brazil would be brilliant. It is a good fixture for us and will give us a chance to see how far we have come. Of course, it is a friendly and there are players injured and missing, but it is important to get a winning mentality before the World Cup."