The veteran striker could suffer from Sam Allardyce's change of approach.
The former Spurs striker was a mainstay under Dick Advocaat but had to settle for a place on the bench in Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge.
The new Black Cats’ boss is likely to adopt a more defensive approach - in a bid to stem the flow of goals conceded – and Defoe could be the man to lose out, with Steve Fletcher better suited to a lone striker role.
“We’ll see what happens. But at the age of 33, you want to play football,” said Defoe, in an interview with the Sunderland Echo.
“I didn’t come here to sit on the bench. I came here to score goals, I said that from day one.”
A stint on the bench now looks likely for the frontman and his frustrations may build in the lead up to the January transfer window.
He dismissed the notion of leaving in the New Year however, reaffirming his desire to contribute to Sunderland’s cause.
“I don’t think like that to be honest (leaving in January)… I just try to focus on the games, stay positive and if I play, do my best and hopefully score.
“If I don’t play, I’ll keep myself sharp, maybe work a bit harder in training and wait for a chance.
“The manager picks the team, you’ve got to respect that. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it,” he added.
Allardyce will have a task on his hands keeping his forwards happy, but there will be little room for argument if his new approach brings about an improvement in results.