Jermain Defoe: Sunderland have gone backwards – we need to emulate Man United and Jose Mourinho at West Ham

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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Jermain Defoe insists what is good enough for Jose Mourinho can be good enough for Sunderland.

The striker says going to West Ham on Saturday and shutting up shop is no crime and pointed to the tactics used the the ‘Special One’ at Liverpool on Monday night.

We have to stay positive, obviously, and try to start our season as soon as possible and start winning matches – if we don’t, we will pay the price.


Manchester United parked their bus at Anfield and bored the crowd and nation on their way to a goalless draw, with, at times 10 away players packed into the 20 yards from their goal-line.

And Defoe says Sunderland being “disciplined” and hard to beat is a basis to get out of trouble and pick up results – starting with a trip to the London Stadium.

The leading scorer, frustrated by Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke, said: “I’m still disappointed to be honest and I don’t think I’ll be happy until we start winning.

“From where we were last season towards the end I feel we’ve gone backwards a little bit.

“I don’t know why, I can’t put my finger on it, but we’re not getting the results.

“You can’t expect to win every game, you have to be realistic, but the Stoke match I think we could have won, given the way they had started the season.

“For instance, you go away to Tottenham, you don’t expect to win, but try to get a point maybe? Sit back and frustrate them.

“Look at Man United the other night. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in world football and has been for years and they were organised and disciplined.

“You could say that was not a Man United team, the way they have played over the years.

“But if our players can watch them and think if they can do that then we can away from home and instead of trying to press people, just sit back and frustrate them and hit them on the counter-attack and try to get our goals that way.

“We need to be solid like we were last year. If we can’t win, get a point, they all add up to the end of the season.

“It’s important we have that mentallity and we need to get it as soon as possible.”

Defoe concedes that Sunderland’s perennial flirtation with the bottom three will ultimately see them finish there – unless they act now.

“Going into November and December we don’t want to be bottom of the league where we seem to have been every year because eventually your luck could run out and we don’t want that to happen,” said the 34-year-old.

“We have to stay positive, obviously, and try to start our season as soon as possible and start winning matches – if we don’t, we will pay the price.

“You need a little bit of luck – that will come – but it’s also important you make your own luck .

“You can’t always play well, but if you look at the Palace game, we played well, up to about 60 minutes we did everything right and got the goals.

“It looked like we were going to win and then we let them in the game and threw it away.”

Defoe hopes, with the right “discipline” Sunderland can start to turn things around this Saturday at his hometown club.

“It’s not going to be easy, with the atmosphere and the way West Ham will start the game,” the Eastender, who began his career at Upton Park, told

“It’s important we just be disciplined, that we all do our jobs. Hopefully we can get the three points and then kick on.”