Jermain Defoe is struggling to keep his emotions in check as he plays a pivotal role in Sunderland’s bid to achieve Premier League survival.
The 33-year-old has scored 15 times in the top flight this season, including the dramatic winner as Sam Allardyce’s men came from behind to beat Chelsea 3-2 at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Sunderland are now in a strong position to survive, with one win needed from their final two matches against Everton and Watford to be sure of avoiding relegation to the Championship.
Defoe says he feels the responsibility of representing the Sunderland support and was in tears again after the vital Chelsea win.
The striker told reporters: “Don’t tell anyone! It is hard not to [cry]. It is crazy.
“It was just the noise. I don’t know what is wrong with me! As I get older, man, I am just getting too emotional. It is hard to find words to describe what it was like.
“The fans won us the game. Even when you are fatigued and tired – it has been a long season mentally as well – when the fans roar like that you find something. You find an energy.
“It has been like that all season. The fans have been fantastic and credit to them. I thank them on behalf of the players.
“We knew it was a massive game but to win like that is unbelievable. It is just the best feeling when you score a winner in a game like this. The noise gave me goosebumps to be honest – it was unbelievable.
“To be out there playing a top Chelsea team, playing against the champions of last season, it was a difficult game and people would have looked at the fixture and thought ‘they won’t do it’.
“But we have always believed and I think we deserved to win.”