Jermain Defoe makes plea to play more games

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Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe says he's keen to play more games under new manager Sam Allardyce.

The Englishman, who joined Sunderland in January after a short spell with Toronto FC, has made eight appearances in all competitions this season, scoring five goals and insists Allardyce knows of his desire to start games regularly.

Defoe told the Journal: "The manager knows. I'm 33, I want to play games. If you speak to any of the boys, everyone wants to play. Yeah, the manager picks the team - you've got to respect that - but at the same time, it doesn't mean you have to be happy about it.


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"Obviously, I can understand the manager coming in and saying he's not too sure if he wants to play 4-4-2. He might want to be more solid in midfield so you don't concede goals, so we'll just see what happens.

"But at the age of 33, you want to play football. I didn't come here to sit on the bench. You want to play football and score goals. I said that from day one."

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Defoe is one of the Premier League's most experienced strikers. He has scored 130 goals in over 300 appearances and has enjoyed his most prolific form when played in a central position. Therefore, it came as a surprise to see him picked to play wide as part of a three-man frontline under previous manager Dick Advocaat.

Whilst many of these cases usually end with the player seeking a move away from the club, the former England forward insists he's not looking to take that route.

He added: "I don't think like that, I don't sit there and think, 'Well, come January I'm going to go'.

"I've just got to focus on the games, stay positive and, if I play then, I've got to do my best, work hard and hopefully score."

It certainly seems there's still some fuel left in the tank for Defoe and he's as keen as ever to further ingrain his status as a Premier League legend.

Defoe will be hoping his words - and, of course, his actions on the pitch - can influence his manager's decision to pick him regularly, starting with Sunderland's highly anticipated clash against rivals Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.

It is arguably the most important match of the season for both sides and Defoe will be well aware of that. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur man scored the only goal of the game in the last derby meeting, a thunderous 25-yard volley that earned the Black Cats a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light.

Allardyce may look to use that experience to get a goal out of the 33-year-old in this fixture and Defoe will surely hope he can once again experience the feeling of scoring a goal in the Wear-Tyne derby.

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Jermain Defoe

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