Sunderland striker Defoe has started this season in strong form.
“For me, I think it was important to get a pre-season,” the English striker said. “Obviously, I signed from Toronto [in January], and before I signed I had an injury so I didn’t play for about four months. So it was quite difficult, to be honest.
“I always knew it was going to take time to get that level of fitness and sharpness, and that’s why it was important to get through the season and focus on having a good pre-season so I could start sharp, which I have done.”
Defoe moved to Wearside in the January transfer window, and although he helped the club stay in the Premier League last term, it was not a glorious season in personal terms.
He managed just four goals in 17 games, and although he scored a fantastic winner in the Tyne-Wear derby, it was suggested that Sunderland were wrong to bring Defoe back to the Premier League.
However, the 32-year-old has proved the doubters wrong this season, scoring two Premier League and three League Cup goals, taking his tally to the season to five in five games - already scoring more goals than he did last campaign.
And having been selected as Dick Advocaat’s first-choice striker, Defoe believes it was enjoying a full pre-season schedule which is behind his improved form.
Defoe has a proven goalscoring pedigree in the Premier League, and if he continues to hit the back of the net on the regular basis he has shown this term, the Black Cats should easily secure a mid-table finish for the first time in a number of years.