Jermain Defoe is happy to shoulder the pressure but he has urged goal-shy Sunderland to give it all they’ve got as the Premier League season reaches its climax.
Sunderland have now failed to score in their last 11 hours of football - or 675 minutes - when Defoe bagged the Wearsiders’ final goal in the 4-0 win away at Crystal Palace on February 4.
“Playing nice football and scoring goals is something that can look after itself, but you have to give everything,” said Defoe. “There are no excuses, you have to score goals.”
Defoe is used to the goalscoring pressure, having already scored 14 goals in 31 Premier League appearances this campaign.
The England International is way ahead in Sunderland’s scoring charts, having scored 11 more than second place Victor Anichebe and Patrick van Aanholt - who left for Palace in January.
Only three other players have found the net Fabio Borini, Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong.
“I’ve set high standards at every club I’ve played for and people expect you to score goals so it’s important you keep doing it, because if you don’t people will start asking questions,” added Defoe.
Defoe, with 157 Premier League goals, believes the pressure at Sunderland is no different to what he’s faced elsewhere.
“You have to prepare properly but it’s not as if I sit there thinking ‘there’s a lot of pressure on me’ because it’s no different to being at my previous clubs where people also expected me to score. When people expect something you’ve just got to do it.”