Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has challenged his side to take a major step towards Premier League survival by winning the derby clash with Newcastle United next time out.
The Black Cats are currently one place and one point outside the relegation zone after failing to win any of their last seven league games, with Dick Advocaat having arrived to take charge following the sacking of Gus Poyet.
However, Defoe has been lifted by the performance in the first game of Advocaat’s reign, which ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat at one of his former clubs, West Ham.
And he would now like to see his side put in a big display against Newcastle at the Stadium of Light on Sunday April 5th, with the Wearsiders having won all of the last four meetings of the two sides.
“There’s no better game for us to get a win and give everyone around the club a lift,” Defoe told the Chronicle.
“There’s no better game to kick-start a revival and get the club away from danger.
“We’ve got eight games coming up and the manager has told us they are all cup finals, which is right because we need to get points.”
England frontman Defoe joined Sunderland in January after a spell in the MLS with Toronto FC and found the net twice in his first five appearances, however, he has since gone six games without a goal.
The Black Cats are 2.42 to secure a derby win a week on Sunday, with the draw 3.10 and a Newcastle victory 2.99.