Defoe: the pressure's on West Ham at the OS

  • by Staff Writer
  • Friday, 21st October 2016

Ex-Hammer Jermain Defoe believes his Sunderland side can use the 'new stadium effect' to their advantage when they face West Ham at the Olympic Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

As experienced by a number of teams moving to new grounds in recent history, United's home form has been indifferent, at best, since the club moved from Upton Park to Stratford during the summer.

And Defoe - who left West Ham under a cloud having slapped in a transfer request the day after West Ham's relegation from the Premiership had been confirmed in May 2003 - has urged his team mates to seize the initiative.

"It's important to go there and be disciplined, and believe that we can win that game," said the 34-year-old striker.

"West Ham, playing in that new stadium? (Let's) try and use that to our advantage. The pressure's on them because they've not played well at home, in that stadium.

"The West Ham fans expect so much from the team, especially at home and after the standards they set last season. We can use that to our advantage - just go there and be relaxed, be confident, compact and don't let them score.

"If we score we score, and if we don't we don't. We get a point."

Although he also suggested that the Hammers had failed to live up to expectations following last season's successes, Defoe maintained that Slaven Bilic's side present a serious threat nonetheless.

"You could say they've gone backwards a little bit from last season," he added. "I think West Ham, like ourselves, have not really started this season how they started last season.
"But they're still a top side. If you look at their players they've still got individuals, great players who can create things out of nothing."

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