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Defoe On 'Fantastic Sunderland Fans' And More

Jermain Defoe has been talking. Here is what he said and practically nowt else.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jermain Defoe, as I'm sure most are aware by now, was introduced to the media at the Academy of Light this week and, by all accounts, spoke very well.

We won't bore you with needless padding. Defoe has much more interesting stuff to say than us, so let's just cut out the rubbish and post what he actually said.

Defoe on living 300 miles from London

It's closer than Toronto! My first game over there was a five-hour flight away at Seattle and that was one of the shorter ones.

Defoe on his MLS adventure

There was a lot of travelling in the MLS. People moaned about the travelling. But the whole thing was different.

One of the strangest things was the reporters in the locker room. The thing is - it's mixed. I used to forget and just come out of the shower. I would be like: ‘Oooof.' I was literally sat there and surrounded by journalists and I'd just got out of the shower. I'd never experienced anything like that before.

And in that first game against Seattle ... I came out on to the pitch on a red carpet with fireworks going off. I was like: ‘Wow.' Then someone got tackled and everyone in the crowd jumped up and waved yellow cards. Everything was just different.

Defoe on his Sunderland initiation

I had to stand on a chair and sing a song. I did Usher - My Way. I sing all the time but I was nervous. We used to do the same initiation at Tottenham and I was always the one at the front abusing the new players so it was quite strange.

Defoe on Poyet's claim his signing has 'transformed Sunderland'

I didn't know Gus had said that. It's been a good feeling walking in here and getting the love from everyone. The staff, the fans, everyone.

When you get that sort of love it makes you want to work even harder. I've watched tapes of that season when Kevin Phillips got 30 Premier League goals here. Incredible. As a forward you look at that and think: ‘I'd love to do something similar here.'

Defoe on England ambitions

I would like to represent my country again. It's the best thing in the world, playing for your country, pulling that shirt on. If I'm scoring goals, I'd like to think I'll get the opportunity to do that again.

I was devastated [to be left out of England's world cup squad]. I'd been involved in every squad. If I'm honest, I thought I was going. When I got the phone call it was hard.

At the back of my mind I thought the main reason was because I'd left the Premier League.

I think the manager looked at that. Roy Hodgson spoke to me. He just said: ‘It's a difficult one, I'm leaving you, Ashley Cole and Michael Carrick out.' He said it was because he wanted to go with a lot of the younger players who had done well. But at the end of the day, Roy knows what he gets from me. He can look at my England record.

I still think I've got a lot to offer England. I still feel sharp. I still feel like I've got a lot of goals left in me. I was disappointed and upset to miss out on the World Cup but at the same time I still want to play for my country. I still want to score goals for England.

Defoe on Gus Poyet

I knew Gus from playing with him at Tottenham and being coached by him when he was back there with Juande Ramos. I always had a good relationship with Gus.

He's someone who I've always liked as a person, he's a good man and he's a good coach. When I had the conversation with Gus and he explained how he wanted Sunderland to play, I pretty much made my mind up straightaway. He said: ‘If you come up here and score goals you'll love it, trust me.'

Defoe on expectation

I've been brought in to score goals but it's a good pressure. You've got to enjoy it, you've got to embrace it. I love playing football, I love scoring goals and I always believe that if I get the chances, I'll score.

Defoe on whether he ever came close to joining Sunderland before

Years ago, something nearly happened. I thought if I had to leave Tottenham I'd want to go somewhere like Sunderland where the stadium is unbelievable and they have great fans.

I've only ever heard good things about this place. I've always known over the years that it's a special club.

Defoe on the Sunderland fans

I only played 70 minutes the other day but the fans were fantastic. I spoke to my mum after the game and she couldn't believe it. She said the Sunderland fans did not stop singing the whole game.

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