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Jermain Defoe is a fan of Sam Allardyce's ice-cool tactics

By Martin Hardy

Published 04/01/2016

Double hero: Jermain Defoe celebrates his brace to give Sunderland three points against relegation rivals Aston Villa
Double hero: Jermain Defoe celebrates his brace to give Sunderland three points against relegation rivals Aston Villa
Decision time: Claudio Ranieri

Jermain Defoe hailed Sam Allardyce's scientific outlook after the forward scored two late goals to dramatically increase Sunderland's chances of Premier League survival.

Defoe struck in the 72nd minute and then deep in injury time to see off Rémi Garde's floundering Aston Villa team, who now stare into the abyss of Championship football seven points adrift of second-bottom Sunderland, with just eight to their name after the 3-1 defeat.

That Sunderland have a chink of light in a similarly miserable campaign was because of the recovery methods Allardyce has subjected his players to - which meant, for them, Christmas in ice.

"I felt good out there, fit and really sharp, and the key was our recovery," said Defoe. "We have been using a cryotherapy chamber, which is hard, but we have all done it and prepared well for the game.

"The chamber is pretty horrible.

"It is difficult getting in there when it is so cold.

"Mentally, when you know something helps, especially in this league, you have got to do it. Everyone has done it.

"It is minus 140C. You go in for two minutes and it speeds up your recovery.

"I did it years ago but this manager is a big believer and he loves it. This is what it takes to prepare correctly for games, then you have to perform. The win is massive. You could see our energy was good."

For Aston Villa it was another crushing defeat but their defender Aly Cissokho insisted: "We know what everyone thinks: that Villa are now down. But while we have a chance, we have to fight. We have to be professional."

Meanwhile, Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has hinted that he could rest Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy for the FA Cup tie against Tottenham next Sunday.

Mahrez failed from the spot for the first time this season on Saturday as Bournemouth's Artur Boruc saved his second-half effort, meaning Leicester had to settle for a goalless home draw to slip two points behind the Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Ranieri said: "When it is the right moment I will rest them. Maybe I will change some players in the next match against Tottenham, because as I always say that I have a very good squad."

Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama issued an apology yesterday after he was sent off in the 1-0 defeat to Norwich City.

Wanyama took to Instagram just hours after his manager, Ronald Koeman, described the red card as "stupid" and said: "I would like to apologise to the manager, fans and everyone at the club. It was reckless and irresponsible."

The Kenyan hinted at signing another deal at Southampton: "A lot has been said about my moving but I am happy and loving my game."

Belfast Telegraph

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