Defoe – No Altitude Worries

Jermain Defoe believes England will be fully prepared to face the USA on Saturday despite having problems with the altitude in South Africa.

The Three Lions finished their programme of warm-up games for the World Cup by beating Platinum Stars 3-0 in Moruleng on Monday.

Defoe played in the first half and opened the scoring after just three minutes, while Joe Cole and Wayne Rooney made sure of the win with second half strikes.

Afterwards, the Spurs striker admitted he found it harder to breathe compared to the recent training camp in Austria, but insisted the England players will be fully prepared to take on the Americans in the Group C opener in Rustenburg on Saturday.

Defoe said: “It was quite difficult to breathe out there to be honest.

“We are higher up than when in Austria for the training camp so altitude is going to play a major part.

“It felt a lot harder in terms of breathing and getting your recovery.

“It was quite difficult to get your breath back.

“But we will get used to that and we feel prepared for Saturday. Mentally we are prepared, physically we are prepared.

“Everyone is looking forward to the game.”

Rooney received a yellow card for dissent and was his typically competitive and aggressive self at times, but Defoe hailed his desire to win.

He said: “I think you need that. That is ‘Wazz’ [Rooney] all over, his aggression, that is the way he plays.”

The Tottenham striker was also full of praise for skipper Rio Ferdinand’s decision to remain with the squad until after the opening game following his knee ligament injury.

Defoe added: “Credit to Rio, he could have gone home and gone on holiday.

“But he chose to stay here and be with the players and, even though he is on the sidelines, he is the captain and credit to him.

“When he got injured, we couldn’t believe it. It was a freak accident in training.

“It happens but we are all here for him and he is a fantastic guy.”