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Defoe hails English debutants

16 August 2012 04:42

England striker Jermain Defoe has praised his young team-mates that came off the bench in his side's 2-1 win over Italy.

Manager Roy Hodgson gave plenty of younger English players a run in Wednesday's friendly against Italy with four players aged 23 or under - Kyle Walker, Jack Butland, Tom Cleverley and Andy Carroll - all starting.

Jake Livermore and Ryan Bertrand were two more in that age bracket to come off the bench in the second half and Defoe, who scored England's winner in the 80th minute, was really impressed with England's future stars.

"The younger lads that come (on) closed down well," Defoe said.

"Jake Livermore came on and was fantastic.

"I thought the lads that made their debuts tonight were fantastic."

Manchester United's Michael Carrick, who sparked controversy when he apparently declined an invitation to be part of England's squad for Euro 2012, was back against Italy and Defoe rated the midfielder's performance highly.

"I've played with Michael Carrick for years, a fantastic passer of the ball, he did well," Defoe said.

"It was a good game."

Carrick played out the 90 minutes and was keen to move on from the saga surrounding him prior to the European Championships.

"What has gone on in the past I've drawn a line under that," Carrick said.

"People thought that I said that if I wasn't going to play then I didn't want to be there but that's not the case.

"It was more that I hadn't played for so long and I wasn't getting any closer to playing.

"The last World Cup I hadn't been part of things at all really, I just thought it would be better for me not to go (to Euro 2012)."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 9 +15 23
2 9 +15 19
3 9 +9 17
4 9 +5 16
5 9 +4 14
6 9 +3 14
7 9 +1 14
8 9 +3 13
9 9 +2 12
10 9 +0 11
11 9 -2 11
12 9 -2 11
13 9 -1 10
14 9 -5 10
15 9 -10 10
16 9 -3 9
17 9 -4 9
18 9 -9 8
19 9 -10 7
20 9 -11 4

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