EDDIE Howe has backed Cherries frontman Jermain Defoe to realise his dream of going to a second World Cup.

Defoe's hopes of booking his seat on the plane for Russia suffered a body blow after the 35-year-old was omitted from Gareth Southgate's latest England squad.

Boss Southgate instead elected to call on strikers Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy and Tammy Abraham for upcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

Despite the setback, Howe believes former Tottenham and West Ham star Defoe can work his way back into favour ahead of next summer's finals.

Howe said: "There's no denying that playing in the World Cup is on Jermain's mind and is something he is craving and wanting to achieve.

"I'm desperate for him to achieve it as well. No one would be more pleased and proud if he could be involved in that squad. There is a lot of hard work to get there but I certainly still feel he can do it.

"Jermain will in some senses understand the decision (to leave him out of the latest squad) in the respect they are not competitive games.

"He will think that if he performs well for us, he has got every opportunity of going and he will see that prize at the end of the season.

"I think he can do it and it's up to us and him to help him get in the position to do it."

Having been overlooked by Sven-Göran Eriksson for the 2006 World Cup, Defoe was part of Fabio Capello's squad for the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

The diminutive frontman scored the decisive goal in England's final group game against Slovenia, which sealed the Three Lions' spot in the knockout rounds.

He was not selected for the 2014 World Cup by Roy Hodgson and Russia is likely to be his final chance to play a part in the global showcase.

Defoe managed just 45 minutes in last Saturday's Premier League defeat to Chelsea following a hamstring problem but will hope to be involved when Cherries visit Newcastle United tomorrow (3pm).

Howe added: "I've always said he will play a big part in our season. He has already scored a very important goal and has had other chances to score.

"The team has to create and supply him with the chances he needs and this season we haven't quite done that with the regularity we have done it historically.

"But I don't think it's about Jermain, I think it's about us as a team.

"If there is a criticism of the team, we have scored six goals and that's not enough. We haven't looked as potent in the final third.

"We've always been a team which has attacked with everybody and if one part of the team doesn't function then that hurts us in a creative sense. We need to get our fluency back in front of goal."