Sunderland v Newcastle: Misses have not dented Jermain Defoe’s confidence

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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Derby hero Jermain Defoe insists his confidence has not been dented in any way by costly misses against Bournemouth and Spurs.

Defoe - who netted a stunning winner in last season’s Wear-Tyne derby - is in contention to start Sunday’s visit of Newcastle United, as Sam Allardyce looks to steer Sunderland to a sixth successive win over the Magpies.

Allardyce opted to pack the midfield for his opening game in charge at West Brom last weekend.

But with Jeremain Lens and Ola Toivonen available again after suspension and injury respectively, plus Defoe as an alternative option, Allardyce could be more attack-minded for his opening home game in charge.

Defoe has not started since September’s defeat at Bournemouth, when he missed a clear-cut chance against a former club for the second game-in-a-row.

Yet the 33-year-old has the mindset of a natural finisher; believing the next goal is just around the corner.

“Sergio Aguero scored a penalty in the Champions League (the last minute winner at Borussia Monchengladbach) after missing three one-on-ones,” said Defoe.

“I was disappointed with the Spurs one because I hit the post, which was a bit unlucky.

“At Bournemouth, I went through and the keeper saved it.

“But I remember saying to Dick (Advocaat) before he left, that the thing is with me in those games I felt sharp.

“At Tottenham, when I was like that, I’d score a hat-trick.

“If I’m not sharp, and I’m laboured, then fair enough. But if I’m sharp, then the goal will come.

“It’s not a problem, Gary Lineker used to say it. Don’t be scared of missing chances because at some stage, they’ll go in.”