We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

6 great sport channels

Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA

All free when you join eir Broadband

Subscribe to eir Sport
Published: 11:21 | 22/4/16

Defoe blames fitness levels for current plight

Players weren't fit enough at start of campaign

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe believes that the club's present predicament is a result of the players not being fit enough under former boss Dick Advocaat.

The Dutchman, who oversaw a miraculous escape from relegation last season, departed after just eight games of the current campaign with

the Black Cats in deep trouble once again on three points. Although their fortunes have improved under new manager Sam Allardyce, the club is still mired in the relegation zone with just five games left to play, but are now just a single point behind 17th placed Norwich after a comprehensive 3-0 win at Carrow Road last weekend.

Defoe, who has 16 goals to his name this season, believes that the club's slow start to the campaign is to blame for their current plight.

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

"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 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?"

Allardyce's arrival proved to be good news for Defoe in particular as he eventually persuaded the new man he could score goals from a central position after being employed largely as a wide-man under Advocaat, and he goes into the weekend with 16 to his name.

Sunderland welcome third-placed Arsenal to the Stadium of Light on Sunday.


By: Kieran O'Daly

Doswell "very proud" of Sutton FA Cup run

22:08 | 20/2/17

Sutton United manager Paul Doswell is very "proud" of his players after watching them lose 2-0 to Arsenal in their FA Cup fifth round tie.


Arsenal end Sutton FA Cup dream

21:48 | 20/2/17

Arsenal's quest for a third FA Cup in four years remains on course after they ended Sutton United's glorious run in the fifth round 2-0 at a packed Gander Green...


Giggs expects Bale Real stay

09:42 | Today

Ryan Giggs has admitted that the Manchester United fans would love to see Gareth Bale playing for their side but he doesn't think it will happen any time soon.


Mata: We must remain focused

11:37 | 20/2/17

Manchester United are excited at the prospect of facing Southampton in the EFL Cup final but are focused on overcoming Saint-Etienne in the Europa League before...


Kompany to miss Monaco tie

14:32 | 20/2/17

Vincent Kompany will miss Manchester City's Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against Monaco.


What’s in the eir Sport Pack?

We’ve got heartstopping action across 6 great sports channels, with 42 Premier League games, every Champions League game and every Europa League game, as well as UFC, Allianz Leagues GAA, Golf, F1 and much more.