Jermain Defoe admits he’s itching to get back into action – and is aiming to fire 20 goals this season for Sunderland.
The striker and his Black Cats team-mates will report back for pre-season training on Thursday after their summer break.
It will be Defoe’s first pre-season as a Sunderland player, having joined the club in January from Toronto, with Jozy Altidore moving in the opposite direction.
The 32-year-old will make a swift return to the Canadian city, however, with Sunderland playing Toronto in a warm-up fixture ahead of the new campaign.
And he admits he can’t wait to get back into action after the five-week break – and has already set himself a goal target for the new season.
“During the off-season I always keep myself fit,” Defoe said. “I try not to eat too much and get the rest – the season is so long – but after a couple of weeks I’m ready to go back, ready to train.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good pre-season and we can start the season really strong.
“People say you should always aim for 20 goals in a season and if I’m scoring goals it’s only good for the club and the team.”
Defoe struck four times after his January move, but was often used in a wider role by head coach Dick Advocaat.
Despite that, he’s looking forward to working again with the Dutchman, who committed to the club this month.
“When a new manager comes in, it keeps you on your toes and with someone like Dick, who has been in the game so many years, you respect someone like that,” Defoe added.