Sunderland v Burnley: Sean Dyche hails ‘sharp’ Jermain Defoe following England recall

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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Today’s Stadium of Light clash between Sunderland and Burnley will bring in-form Clarets striker Andre Gray up against the man who arguably cost him his first England call-up this week, Jermain Defoe.

Some had expected Gray to join team-mates Tom Heaton and Michael Keane in Gareth Southgate’s squad for games against Germany and Lithuania, but the England boss opted instead to end Black Cats talisman Defoe’s four-year international exile.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche had no complaints about the decision, admitting: “Jermain Defoe is a fine player – he still looks sharp and he’s still scoring goals.

“I think the game’s changing anyway – players are looking after themselves for longer, they’re staying fitter and there are more support systems.

“(Gray) is still learning and adjusting in the Premier League. I think he’ll improve from what we do here and he’ll improve from being in the Premier League, so hopefully if he continues to do that his day will come.”