Spurs striker Defoe: England players can handle Lineker criticism

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has dismissed criticism from England legend Gary Lineker.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has dismissed criticism from England legend Gary Lineker.

Former Three Lions ace Lineker blasted Roy Hodgson’s side for going ‘back to the dark ages’ after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland.

But Tottenham striker Defoe, 30, said: “Gary is a legend. He’s a Spurs man and I respect him.

“Everyone has their opinion. That’s life — it’s part and parcel of sport.

“If that’s going to hurt you, then you’re a weak person. As a group we stick together and try to win football matches.

“We enjoy playing for our country and we want to enjoy it.

“As a kid you dream of doing that and when you play for England you try 100 per cent. Sometimes it might not be good enough.”

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