Jermain Defoe is dreaming that Sunderland could emulate Leicester City after boosting their Premier League survival bid with a 2-2 draw at Liverpool.
Sunderland, currently second from bottom, have plenty of experience of late escapes from relegation, but unlike Leicester they have never been able to build on it the following season.
Defoe says seeing what the Foxes are doing having staved off what appeared to be certain relegation last season has given him encouragement for the future.
“It is an unbelievable story. You look at clubs like that and think ‘If they can do it, why can’t we do it?'” Defoe said.
“The squad we have got is such a strong squad and the new players who have come in have been brilliant.
“I think it has shown in the last two games. The team spirit is there and if we continue to work hard together then hopefully we get the results and hopefully do it soon.”
Defoe baffled by Advocaat decision
Defoe scored his sixth goal in as many games on Saturday and his eighth in 15 Premier League games since Sam Allardyce took over from Dick Advocaat and moved him back up front.
“The previous manager used to play me on the left,” Defoe said.
“I’ve never played there in my whole career – not even at school – so that was a bit strange playing as a full-back when you have always been a forward.
“For me it was frustrating because your whole career you play as a forward – and not a number 10, a number nine – and all of a sudden you are asked to play a role you haven’t before.
“I will always try to work hard for the team but it is not my natural game. It takes away your chances of getting your goals.
“Obviously you are not going to get goals when you are chasing full-backs, that is something I’ve never done before.
“But that was at the beginning of the season and this is now.
“Obviously this manager (Allardyce) has come in and even though I’ve never played under him he knows me, he’s an experienced manager.”
Defoe on Euro 2016
A return to the goals has raised hopes Defoe could make a late bid for England’s 2016 squad.
For him to do that he will need to maintain his form until the end of the campaign which, if he does, will give 19th-placed Sunderland more than a chance of escaping relegation.
“I’ve not seen my name in the papers about the Euros,” he added.
“I said a few weeks ago it is at the back of your mind, but it is not something I am fully focused on to be honest. With something like that it is out of my hands anyway.
“All I have to do is try to keep playing well, keep getting my goals and see what happens.
“It is at the back of my mind, but I’m focused on playing well for the club.”