Moyes: Defoe needs help to fire us out of drop zone
Sunderland boss David Moyes has ordered his players to make the most of Jermain Defoe's continued presence to help him fire the club out of Premier League relegation trouble.
West Ham launched a tentative £6million bid to lure the 34-year-old striker away from the Stadium of Light during last month's transfer window, but were swiftly rebuffed with the Black Cats knowing he represents their best chance of staving off the drop for a fifth successive season.
However, the last of Defoe's 12 goals to date this term came in a 3-1 home defeat by Stoke on January 14, and Moyes admits the former England international will need more chances if he is to continue to do what he does best.
Ahead of today's clash at Crystal Palace, the Scot said: "There was a bit of noise at the start of the window, but everybody knew that he was vital to us. But we have got to get him opportunities to score, and that's probably been something in recent weeks we have not done.
"We have not had enough opportunities. We had one or two in midweek that didn't fall to Jermain (in the 0-0 draw with Tottenham). We made a couple of chances in the first half, but we need to try to get a situation where we are creating more chances.
"We have to keep getting Jermain those opportunities to score."
New signings Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson could be involved for the first time at Palace, where Moyes will go head to head with his immediate predecessor Sam Allardyce, who masterminded a remarkable rescue mission last term.
Moyes said: "He has his own style, Sam, he's his own man and he's very experienced."