Defoe delighted with Black Cats gong

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe expressed his gratitude at winning the Supporters' Player of the Year award, but insists this season's work is not yet done.

The former England international has been intrumental in the Black Cats' late-season mini revival. Sam Allardyce's men were staring relegation in the face at the start of 2016, but have proven extremely difficult to beat since.

Defoe's nine goals since the start of January has helped ensure that his team have consistently taken at least a point from their league matches and his contribution to their crucial victory over fellow relegation battlers Norwich two weeks ago helped the Wearsiders climb out of the relegation zone.

The 33-year-old was honoured with the accolade on Monday night and took the opportunity to discuss the remainder of the season with the club's official website.

"I'm happy because this is an award that comes from the supporters," said Defoe. "The fans appreciating your hard work throughout the season means a lot to me.

"It's my first full season at the club and when I got the call to come here I got so excited, as all I wanted to do was come here, score goals, express myself and show the fans how good I am.

"When you come to a football club, especially one this size, you just want to leave a legacy and you want to come back one day after you've retired and feel welcome.

"You want the fans to appreciate you and appreciate all the work that you put in, so it's a great feeling because it's not always easy to come into a new club and hit the ground running.

"That was my main focus in pre-season and I wanted to score loads of goals, and I've been delighted with the amount I've scored but the work isn't done and we have four massive games. The goals are needed more than ever now."