Sam Allardyce has denied he wants to sell Jermain Defoe and is ready to shun the January transfer window in a bid to kick-start Sunderland’s Premier League survival fight.
The Sunderland boss hailed his side’s low-quality but resilient 1-0 win at Crystal Palace as a potential turning point in the season.
Jermain Defoe stole the winner before hobbling off with a leg problem the former England striker does not believe to be serious.
Allardyce employed the same 3-5-2 formation that led to a 6-2 hammering at Everton at the start of the month, feeling vindicated for reprising the wing-backs system in south London.
“The players have given me more confidence today, I try to guide them but they are the ones who go out and do it,” said Allardyce.
“They’ve got to be the saviours, not me.
“I can guide them, and help them along the way.
“You stay calm, cool and collected and try to show a bit of confidence in them, and hope they build confidence.
“And the only way that happens is by getting results like tonight.
“I read in the paper yesterday I was selling Defoe.
“This is the trouble with the window coming in January.
“I’m selling everyone apparently, then I’m asking them to play.
“I want to get the maximum from the players I have.”
Former Tottenham hitman Defoe bisected Scott Dann and Wayne Hennessey to pilfer the only goal in a poor contest at Selhurst Park.
“Why should I be ashamed?” said Allardyce when discussing his side’s gritty counter-attacking tactics.
“If we have to be resilient, determined and dogged, that’s what we’ll do.
“The players were very nervous to play that system again.
“It’s difficult for them, because you’re asking them to do something they haven’t practised an awful lot.
“The biggest problem for me was how to get Steven Fletcher and Jermain Defoe into the same starting line-up.
“And today has given me a bit of a way forward.”