Former Chelsea player and current pundit Pat Nevin believes Sunderland showed more courage and feels Newcastle United are only safe from relegation due to Alan Pardew’s pervious good work, the BBC reports.
The Black Cats headed into the encounter sitting perilously close to the relegation zone and in desperate need of a morale-boosting victory in Dick Advocaat’s second game in charge.
After a feisty opening period lacking in quality, the game’s standout moment arrived as former Spurs man Defoe netted a belting volley from outside the area to hand the hosts a half-time lead.
The second period was all about guts and determination from Sunderland, whereas the Magpies offered little other than desperate crosses in their attempts to get back in to the game.
Nevin, commentating for the BBC, feels Advocaat’s side simply wanted it more and labelled the signing of Defoe as one of Sunderland’s best in recent history.
"Sunderland wanted it more, they needed it more and this came across. The one moment of quality - Defoe's volley - settled it. Signing him could be the best bit of business they have done in many years,” the former Chelsea man explained.
The victory lifts the Stadium of Light outfit up to 15th in the Premier League table, six points behind their rivals who following four straight losses have dropped to 13th.
The Magpies have simply gone off the boil since Alan Pardew’s exit, and while they are seemingly safe from the drop, Nevin feels they have their former boss to thank for securing their top flight status.
"Newcastle's season has been petering out for a while. To be fair, that squad is not incredibly strong and they have not replaced the people they have sold with any quality,” he stated.
“That they are where they are in the table at the moment is down to how well the previous manager did earlier in the season."