Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe insists he enjoys the pressure of being the club’s main man after opening his account on Saturday.
The Black Cats were handed a tough start to the campaign on Saturday as they travelled away to face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Defoe netted his first of the season to level the game at 1-1 but a late own goal from Paddy McNair saw City claim all three points at the Etihad Stadium.
The 33-year-old was Sunderland’s top-scorer last term and will be expected to fire them away from a relegation battle under David Moyes again in 2016-17.
The former Tottenham man insists he enjoys the pressure of leading the line but feels he will be supported well by some of the younger members of the squad this time round.
Defoe said:“It is the same pressure. Even when I was at Tottenham, you are the forward and people expect you to score goals.
“It is a new season, you never know what will happen, but, as a forward, I want to score goals to help the team and the boys.
“I know how important my goals are and I’m sure the rest of the lads will chip in this year because we have some good players.
“The young lads coming through as well, looked really good. I really believe we will have a good year.”