Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe delighted with his fitness levels

Sunderland Gates

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe scored in his side's latest match against Everton.

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has told the Sunderland Echo that he is feeling fitter than he has done in a long time.

The veteran forward is reaching the twilight of his career, but he has been given a new lease of life by Sam Allardyce’s appointment at the Stadium of Light.

Defoe has been pleased by the way Allardyce has set up training, and he is already feeling the benefits of the 60-year-old’s regime.

“The last two games are probably the fittest I’ve felt in a long time and I think that’s due to the training which we’re doing,” he said.

“I’m sure he’s done that at other clubs, with the intensity and the things we do in the gym.

“We do a lot of 11 v 11’s, so everything is match related.”

Defoe’s new found fitness has helped him show some promising signs under Allardyce, with his partnership with Steven Fletcher looking like it could be a productive one.

Defoe scored against Everton in Sunderland’s latest match, and his display was a very impressive one.

It will be important for the Black Cats that the England international maintains his form, too, as they will need his goals if they are to successfully scramble their way to safety.

Sunderland are currently in the relegation zone, and they need to start picking up points if they are to move away from trouble.

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