Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce believes Jermain Defoe has proved doubters who think he can't play as sole striker wrong

The 33-year-old helped the Black Cats secure a huge three points against Norwich.

Sam Allardyce has heaped praise upon Jermain Defoe and insisted that the 33-year-old has proved that he has no problem playing as Sunderland's sole striker, the Shields Gazette reports.

The former Tottenham forward was able to help the Black Cats give their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost as they thrashed Norwich City 3-0 at Carrow Road to move to within one point of safety with a game in hand over the Canaries. 

After Fabio Borini gave Sunderland the lead from the penalty spot just before the break, it was Defoe that scored the second before Duncan Watmore wrapped up the emphatic win in stoppage-time.

And following the game, Allardyce insisted that the striker's performance proved that he has no problems shouldering the responsibility of leading the line on his own.

"For me, the myth that he can't play up front on his own has been put to bed," he told the Shields Gazette.

"Since we've done it, which has taken a long time because everybody told me he couldn't do it, and he has continually scored goals."

The fact that Defoe has had no issue playing up front on his own could be a major advantage for the club as they look to get themselves out of trouble. 

Their defensive frailty has perhaps been their biggest weakness this term, so Allardyce not having to worry about playing someone alongside his top scorer will allow him to provide extra support in defence or midfield. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch