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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 23 September 2020

Defoe backs Allardyce for joint Sunderland-England role

The 33-year-old striker believes his club boss’ tactics would be effective on the international stage.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce gives instructions to Jermain Defoe.
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce gives instructions to Jermain Defoe.

SUNDERLAND STRIKER JERMAIN Defoe is confident Sam Allardyce can take on the England job and stay on as manager at the Stadium of Light.

The club confirmed on Wednesday that they had allowed the 61-year-old to hold talks with the English Football Association over the possibility of succeeding Roy Hodgson, who resigned in the immediate aftermath of the dismal Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland.

Defoe thrived under Allardyce last season, scoring 15 Premier League goals to help fire Sunderland to survival, and the 33-year-old is eager for his manager to stay at the club — even if he accepts an England offer.

“Obviously I want him to stay at Sunderland, but maybe he could do both [jobs],” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Defoe praised Allardyce’s clear tactical approach at Sunderland and admitted that opposition teams consider his sides to be “horrible” to play against.

“I’ve always known about Sam, but it’s not until you play for a manager that you actually realise what they bring to a team and what they bring to a dressing room,” he said.

I remember when I was really young at West Ham, playing against Bolton, pulling up to the stadium and thinking, ‘it’s going to be a tough one’.

“It was always difficult against Sam’s teams because they’re so direct. We used to say it was a horrible way of playing, but it’s so effective.

“It’s no different to what he’s done at Sunderland. He’s come in and given us the basis to win games. He didn’t really complicate anything.

“On the Thursday he’d do the team shape, saying, ‘This is what I want, this is how we’re going to win’, depending on who we were playing against, and he just wants you to go out and do it.”

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