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Sunderland striker Defoe extends deal

Jermain Defoe is staying in Sunderland. Credit: PA

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has signed a contract extension at the Stadium of Light.

The former Spurs and West Ham striker scored 18 goals for Sunderland last season and has now penned a deal until the summer of 2019.

Jermain is one of the greatest goal-scorers in the history of the Premier League and is a player that every manager would want to have in their team.

He proved that beyond doubt last season by scoring 15 league goals, he is in fantastic physical condition and we are very pleased that we have been able to extend his stay with us.

– Sam Allardyce

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Sunderland fans banner to mock Newcastle's relegation

Sunderland stayed up at the expense of Newcastle. Credit: PA

A message from Sunderland fans mocking Newcastle's relegation is set to be flown over St James' Park when the Magpies face Tottenham there on Sunday.

The Black Cats secured their Barclays Premier League safety and condemned north-east rivals Newcastle to the drop with Wednesday's 3-0 victory over Everton at the Stadium of Light.

On Saturday aerial advertising company Air Ads posted a message on Twitter which said: "Busy afternoon, putting together a banner for St James Park tomorrow afternoon!"

That was accompanied by a picture of a banner being prepared, with red letters across it spelling out 'AUF WIEDERSEHEN PREM'.

It comes after a crowdfunding page was created on gofundme.com on Thursday by 'SAFC AWAY DAYS', with the stated aim of the project being to "organise a fly past banner over St James' Park to allow us to say bye to our neighbours for a little while".

Four donations have been made, with an anonymous one of just over £1,000 accounting for virtually the whole of the total amount raised. The page says £900 will be for the aircraft trailing the banner, with the rest going to charity.

Allardyce: Sunderland survival would be 'huge relief'

Sam Allardyce has his eye on survival. Credit: PA

Sam Allardyce has admitted his overwhelming emotion will be relief rather than celebration if Sunderland secure their Premier League status on Wednesday evening.

Victory over faltering Everton at the Stadium of Light would ensure the Black Cats' continued presence in the top flight after a fourth successive late escape, something which was far from certain before Saturday's fine 3-2 win over Chelsea.

However, while manager Allardyce insists his players would deserve to celebrate, his response would be more low key.

I think it will be a big celebration for the players - and I think they should go out and celebrate as well if they can do it.

But for me, it would be a huge relief to have achieved it in what's been a very, very difficult season for us all. We have managed to put the club in a position to try to build from where we are.

– Sam Allardyce

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Sunderland in trouble due to fitness - Defoe

Jermain Defoe played under Dick Advocaat last season. Credit: PA

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe believes the club's failings this season are due to a lack of fitness.

Under Dick Advocaat Sunderland had a poor start to the season and have needed re-energising under Sam Allardyce, who has improved player performance since his arrival at the Stadium of Light, something that hasn't gone unnoticed by Defoe.

It's happened because of the start of the season. We just weren't good enough and we weren't fit enough.

If you look at the fitness stats now - the running stats and the high intensity stats, that side of it - we were so far off, so far off where we are now. Look at the [opening day] game against Leicester - we were blown away. It was difficult.

Now it's like a different team. The first thing the manager [Allardyce] said when he came in, we had a meeting and he said, 'You're not fit enough.' He said, 'I'll get you fit and that's all you need' because we've got top players and internationals.

But if you can't run, how are you meant to perform for 95 minutes?

– Jermain Defoe speaking to The Journal

Norwich match win or bust for Sunderland - M'Vila

Yann M'Villa wants three points. Credit: PA

Yann M'Vila has warned Sunderland they have to win their "cup final" at Norwich if they are to stand any chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

The Black Cats head for Carrow Road in next Saturday's early kick-off knowing the game is if not a winner-takes-all showdown, then not far short of one with the Canaries four points better off than Sam Allardyce's men having played a game more.

We have to win against Norwich, there's no question of a draw. We have to take the points and absolutely have to win at any cost.

It's like a derby, a cup final and we have to approach it like that. There will be pressure on both teams, but more on us because there's four points between us.

We absolutely need to win because if we draw, Norwich will still have that four-point gap.

– Yann M'Vila
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