Defoe fired up for cup return

The 32-year-old is in line to make his second appearance for Gus Poyet???s side in their fourth-round tie against Fulham at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Defoe reached the semi-finals of the competition while at Tottenham but was cup-tied when Portsmouth beat Cardiff in the 2008 final, something he remembers with regret.

“I was gutted, it was really hard, to be honest. I still lifted the trophy, though I was in my suit when I lifted it,??? he said.

“It was really hard. I was happy for the boys, for the team – I was a part of it, even though I didn’t play because I was cup-tied.

“But the whole day was special and obviously you want many more of those days, so I’ll look forward to this game this weekend. Hopefully we can win and progress.”

The former England international has not played in the FA Cup since the 2011-12 season but has performed well in the competition over the years, scoring 22 goals in 35 appearances.

“I have always enjoyed playing in FA Cup games,??? he added.?????It’s a special competition, one of the best competitions in the world, and everyone is looking forward to it.

“Obviously, it’s been a long time for me since I played in the FA Cup, so I am looking forward to it.??It’s a big game, at home. It’s important that we approach it like any other game and try to win.”