Jermain Defoe has told the Sunderland Echo that he is enjoying working with a manager as tactically astute as Sam Allardyce.
Allardyce has taken over from Dick Advocaat at the Stadium of Light, and he has already made an impression at the club.
Although he hasn’t ironed out all Sunderland’s problems, their performances have been improved and Defoe says that 60-year-old boss’s approach is refreshing.
Allardyce sat down with Defoe before the Everton match to discuss their attacking plan for the contest, and the experienced striker is grateful to his manager for keeping his instructions relatively straight-forward.
“Before Everton, he said to me, the full-backs are going to push on so what are you going to do? Where’s the space?
“I said obviously down the sides, so that’s what me and Fletch (Steven Fletcher) did when we got the ball back.
“I’m sure against Southampton there’ll be a different approach.
“He keeps it simple and gives us an idea how to win the game. I’ve enjoyed it.”
Allardyce is renowned as a defensive coach, but so far most the improvements he has made at Sunderland have been to their attacking play.
The Black Cats lost 6-2 to Everton in their latest outing, and Defoe and Steven Fletcher’s partnership in that contest was one of the positives to come out of the heavy defeat.
The Black Cats have struggled for goals throughout the campaign so far, but they have now scored five times in their last two outings, and if Allardyce can tighten up their backline, they have reason for optimism.