Jermain Defoe has labelled Sunderland's victory over Aston Villa as "massive" after his match-winning brace.
Defoe's second half double ended Sunderland's five-game losing streak against basement boys Villa and reduced the gap with the safety mark to four points.
Anything less than a win against Villa threatened to leave Sunderland with an insurmountable task to stay in the Premier League, and Defoe was under no illusions about the magnitude of the outcome.
"It’s massive to be honest. This was the biggest game of the season," Defoe told Sky Sports.
"We knew it would be difficult as Villa are scrapping for their lives and need the points too.
"The manager said we needed to show controlled aggression - we did that. We deserved the three points. I thought we were the better side throughout. It’s a massive three points."