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Monday 11 December 2017

Defoe: Sunderland have momentum to avoid drop

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe
Sunderland's Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe feels Sunderland have built the momentum to distance themselves from relegation bother.

Defoe was on target for the second successive league game as Sunderland claimed a precious point in a 1-1 draw at Swansea, and the 55-times capped England striker has certainly given the Black Cats a cutting edge since ending his 11-month MLS adventure at Toronto.

Sunderland have taken four points from their last two games after winning only one of the previous 12 in the Premier League and enter back-to-back home fixtures against fellow strugglers QPR and West Brom with renewed optimism.

"The games we've got coming up are massive and we have to be confident now," Defoe said ahead of QPR's visit to the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

"QPR are a team that are really fighting as well but we just have to play like we did here because I thought we played well.

"We created some chances but football's about results and you have to put on a performance."

Defoe's rasping first-half strike which gave Sunderland the lead at the Liberty Stadium saw the 32-year-old became the first player to score against every team currently playing in the top flight.

The Londoner has now netted more than 220 goals in English football and Sunderland boss Gus Poyet appears to be responsible for one of the transfer masterstrokes of the season.

For his part, Defoe says he is relishing being back in the Premier League and believes an intimidating Stadium of Light will prove crucial in Sunderland's battle for survival.

"Having our fans onside during games is a massive thing for us," Defoe said. "Even when I was playing for other teams, coming to Sunderland was always a difficult game.

"It was always a difficult place to go and we just have to make it like that, we have to be direct, play with a lot of energy and create chances.

"We did that against Burnley and if we keep doing that we should be fine."

Swansea salvaged a point when former Sunderland loanee Ki Sung-yueng grabbed his fourth goal of the season midway through the second half with a fine diving header.

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