Harry Redknapp wants Jermain Defoe to know that he can still win a regular place in his Tottenham Hotspur side and gain a place in the England squad for the Euro 2012 finals, despite limited opportunities for the striker during Spurs' unbeaten run – which they aim to extend to 10 League matches against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns today.
Defoe is concerned he may become the forgotten man when England boss Fabio Capello comes to selecting his squad for next summer and Redknapp accepts keeping Defoe on the sidelines isn't helping the 29-year-old's cause.
He said: "It will be difficult for Jermain to get into the England squad, I think. It is certainly not going to help him not playing regularly for us. But looking at him in midweek he is looking ever so sharp.
"I had a chat with Jermain before a reserve game in which he went out and scored five goals. They were all fantastic finishes. But he has been unlucky. It is a difficult one getting Rafa [Van Der Vaart] and Jermain into the same team. It is not impossible but it doesn't work really."
He urged Defoe to keeping working at it. He said: "Jermain is a fantastic professional. He will get his opportunities. He is top class. There s no reason he shouldn't be in the Euro squad. With what we've got, I wouldn't sell him."