Sunderland AFC news round-up: Redknapp on future of Cats ace, Deeney's England hopes boosted by Defoe recall

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe
Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe
Have your say

Troy Deeney and Jermain Defoe will go toe-to-toe at Vicarage Road on Saturday - and the Watford striker says his England hopes have been boosted by Defoe's recall.

Defoe made his long-awaited return to the international fold during the international break after an absence of three-and-a-half years, with Defoe scoring the opening goal in the 2-0 win over Lithuania.

The 14-goal top scorer returns to club duties this weekend, with basement side Sunderland in need of three points away at Watford on Saturday afternoon.

Hornets striker Deeney says seeing Defoe's international return has raised his own hopes of a first international call-up.

Deeney, previously tipped for England honours, told the Evening Standard: "I was buzzing for Jermain and it gives you hope.

"I now need to make it impossible for the manager not to pick me.

"I think that I was closer to a call in the Championship.

"I was scoring 20-odd goals and everyone was saying, ‘give him a chance’. I felt closer to it then than now.

"People are always talking about me being called up, so I must be doing something right.

"If no one mentioned me at all then I’d be like, 'I’ve been a bit rubbish, haven’t I?'"

Harry Redknapp has his say on Defoe's future:

The 34-year-old is Sunderland's top scorer with 14 league goals this season but the Black Cats could lose the England international on a free this summer if they are relegated to the Championship.

Sunderland are seven points adrift of safety heading into the final 10 games of the season, starting with Watford away on Saturday.

Ahead of the game, former Hammers boss Redknapp has been speaking about Defoe and says West Ham would be the perfect fit for Defoe.

"Jermain could be a hero at West Ham again, for sure," the former West Ham manager told the Alan Brazil Sport Breakfast show on talkSPORT.

"He got pelters from the fans when he left, but he was only a kid at that time. They got relegated, he wanted to play in the Premier League and he was badly advised.

"But he started out there, so I’d love to see him go back there and have a couple of great years and score goals.

"I think West Ham fans would love him back there. You know what it’s like, score a few goals in a couple of games and all is forgotten."

Follow our live Sunderland AFC blog here:

George Honeyman wants to play his part in relegation dogfight:

The young Sunderland forward says playing for the Black Cats "means absolutely everything" to him and he is desperate to play his part in the relegation dogfight.

Sunderland return to action this weekend when they head to Watford in the Premier League.

Honeyman, 22, could be among the substitutes at Vicarage Road - and he has been speaking about how much the club means to him.

"I just want to be on the pitch playing so that’s the most important thing," he said.

"I enjoy playing as part of that three in midfield, but to be honest if the manager sticks me at left-back, I’d give it my all for this football club and I would love just being on the pitch.

"It means absolutely everything to me.

"I have been at this club since I was 11-years-old and just being in and around this team is all I have ever wanted and now for me I just want to get back in the team if I can and start as many games.

"I'll be doing everything I can to try and do that and help the team," the young forward told the club website.

Follow our live Sunderland AFC blog here: