Ross Stewart reveals Jermain Defoe's influence at Sunderland

Ross Stewart has hailed the influence of strike partner Jermain Defoe at Sunderland.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 1:13 pm

Stewart was called into the Scotland squad for the first time on Monday afternoon.

The Sunderland striker has been in good form after replacing Charlie Wyke and has scored 22 goals in League One.

And Stewart has been rewarded with the call into the squad to face Poland at Hampden on Thursday, before coming up against one of Austria or Wales next midweek.

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Ross Stewart.

The striker was not called up initially by Clarke but injuries to Kevin Nisbet and Lyndon Dykes see him now in.

Stewart, 25, signed for Sunderland last year after impressing with Ross County north of the border.

Defoe returned to the club on deadline day amidst dramatic scenes after the former England international striker departed Scottish giants Rangers.

The two-time Tottenham attacker has not yet scored for Sunderland during his second stint on Wearside but has been deployed up front alongside Stewart by head coach Alex Neil.

Stewart explained to Daily Record: “JD and I have got on really well since he has come in. We have been quite close.

“It is good to pick his brain on different things and just to watch him train every day is great because you learn so much from him.

“He has done it throughout his career and so when he did come in I knew it was such a good opportunity for me to learn from him and to add to my own game, knowing he has been there and done it at the highest level.

"He has helped me so much. He is always telling me to be selfish, follow things in and get in positions where you can score.

“All the boys in the dressing room look up to him. He is also still in great shape.”

On being called up to the Scotland squad, Stewart added: “If I got my chance with Scotland and managed to score then that would be an absolute dream come true.

“It will be a lot different on Thursday. The stadium will be near full and I know the standard of the game will be a lot better as well.”