Jermain Defoe says Sunderland's situation is sad but remains hopeful of improvement

Jermain Defoe says the situation at Sunderland is 'sad' and insists that his former club deserve to be in the Premier League

Jermain Defoe has described the situation at former club Sunderland as “sad” but remains hopeful that things will improve at the Stadium of Light.

Despite salvaging a dramatic late point against Middlesbrough on Saturday, the 3-3 draw extended Sunderland's winless run to six games and keeps them bottom of the Championship table, with 12 matches to play.

Defoe, who made over 80 appearances during three years with the Black Cats before joining Bournemouth last summer, believes the club has the infrastructure for the top flight and need a good run of results to gather some momentum.

Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship as Sunderland faced Middlesbrough

"Fingers crossed they can get a few wins, build some confidence and hopefully get out of the situation they are in," he said.

"Next season, hopefully they can kick on and build on that to have a good season.

"Sunderland is a Premier League club. The fan base, stadium and the facilities, it is a massive club.

"It is sad to see them in this situation but hopefully they will get out of it soon."

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Jermain Defoe of Sunderland looks dejected during the Premier League match between Sunderland and AFC Bournemouth
Image: Defoe left Sunderland after their relegation from the Premier League last season

Manager Chris Coleman, who was tasked with changing Sunderland's fortunes after being appointed in November, has won just four of his 18 matches in charge but Defoe hailed the former Wales boss and praised his trust in the squad's youngsters.

"He [Coleman] is an unbelievable man. I have always respected some of his work as a manager and what he has achieved at club level and internationally," he said.

"I am happy to see the young lads come through and doing well in a difficult situation."

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