Defoe: Sunderland can benefit from Tottenham’s Champions League hangover

Jermain Defoe scraps to keep possession against Middlesbrough last month
Jermain Defoe scraps to keep possession against Middlesbrough last month

Jermain Defoe hopes Tottenham will have a Champions League hangover when Sunderland travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The former Spurs frontman reckons fatigue could be a factor for Mauricio Pochettino’s men after their midweek exploits against Monaco – a game the North London outfit lost 2-1.

“I watched Spurs in the Champions League and they are not at the level they were at the end of last season,” said Defoe. “But it is early days. It’s the same with us, though. It’s early days for us.

“Hopefully, because they played in midweek, some fatigue might kick in. I’m at risk of starting to speak like a manager here!”

Having not won any of their first four Premier League games of the season , Defoe is not underestimating how big a win could be prove for Sunderland this weekend.

“For us, it is a massive game. We need to get our season going,” he said.

“We need that first win.

“It is important for us to go there and be disciplined.”

One massive plus for the Black Cats in recent weeks has been the return of Lee Cattermole to first-team training, while German midfielder Jan Kirchhoff was back in the starting XI against Everton on Monday.

Defoe thinks having that kind of experience around the place is invaluable. And it’s something Sunderland have maybe missed.

“We need the experience – you can’t buy that,” he said.

“Catts has played in the Premier League for 10 years and he brings aggression to the team. Jan is a top player. You need that experience.

“It is difficult for the young lads to come into a team when we are not really playing well.

“I remember when I came through at West Ham the team were playing well. It was easier.

“It is not easy for these lads when we are searching for a first win.

“For the likes of Lynden Gooch, and Duncan Watmore, to be playing Premier League games is amazing.”

Meanwhile, Sunderland have confirmed the signing of 18-year-old former Crystal Palace goalkeeper Oliver Pain on a one-year deal.