Defoe insists England will be ready

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The Independent Football

Jermaine Defoe is confident England will be prepared for the World Cup opener with the United States despite having problems at high altitude in the warm-up game against Platinum Stars.

Defoe scored the opening goal in a 3-0 success, with Joe Cole and a fired-up Wayne Rooney also on target in England's final friendly before they face Bob Bradley's side in Rustenburg on Saturday.

Fabio Capello used 21 of his 23 players, with only Gareth Barry and David James, who has had knee problems, not participating.

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 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 after his knee ligament injury.

Defoe said: "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."