Defoe was on target for the second successive league game as Sunderland claimed a precious point in a 1-1 draw at Swansea, and the 55-times capped England striker has certainly given the Black Cats a cutting edge since ending his 11-month MLS adventure at Toronto.
Sunderland have taken four points from their last two games after winning only one of the previous 12 in the Premier League and enter back-to-back home fixtures against fellow strugglers QPR and West Brom with optimism.
“The games we’ve got coming up are massive and we have to be confident now,” Defoe said ahead of QPR’s visit to the Stadium of Light tomorrow night. “QPR are a team that are really fighting as well but we just have to play like we did here because I thought we played well. ”
Defoe’s rasping first-half strike which gave Sunderland the lead at the Liberty Stadium saw the 32-year-old became the first player to score against every team currently playing in the top flight. Swansea salvaged a point when former Sunderland loanee Ki Sung-yueng grabbed his fourth of the season midway through the second half with a diving header.
It was Ki’s first Swansea appearance for five weeks as he had been away leading South Korea at the Asian Cup in Australia and skipper Ashley Williams hailed the importance of the midfielder.
“He’s a massive player for us and we probably missed him a little bit while he’s been away,” Williams said.
“But he slotted right back in and was as good as he’s been all season. Ki and Jack Cork put in good shifts and I thought Jack covered a lot of ground on his debut. I was a little disappointed the way we played but we showed great character to come back from a goal down, especially when you’re not playing well as you want.”
SWANSEA: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor (Rangel 67), Ki, Cork, Barrow (Montero 46), Shelvey (Nelson Oliveira 79), Dyer, Gomis.
Subs Not Used: Amat, Carroll, Tremmel, Fulton.
SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Reveillere, Vergini, O’Shea, Van Aanholt, Alvarez (Johnson 65), Larsson, Bridcutt, Gomez, Graham (Fletcher 76), Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Brown, Coates, Giaccherini, Mannone, Agnew.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).