That move would have been funded in part by the proceeds of full-back Patrick van Aanholt's £14million departure for Crystal Palace - he could line up against his former club at Selhurst Park on Saturday - at the end of a hard window during which funds were otherwise extremely limited. There were different circumstances why we lost that game then, but it is the same pressure we have to deal with and produce a performance.
"Some are still really appreciative of what happened in my short period there".
The striker's goals were the difference between relegation and survival for Sunderland last season, and though his successor David Moyes' task looks even more hard than his own 12 months ago, Allardyce is convinced the striker's ability gives them a real chance.
"But we have to keep getting Jermain those opportunities to score". Look, we are only days over the transfer window, so I've not even thought about it. I have to go with Palace here. The hosts to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 is 13/8 in the correct score group betting, while another Palace victory without conceding is a 7/4 shot.
And tomorrow's game at Selhurst park is of vital importance, with the Eagles sitting just three points and two places above Sunderland in the table.
Palace have never done the league "double" over Sunderland despite this being the 18th season in which they have met.
Allardyce rescued the Black Cats from the brink of relegation in 2015/16 but left the Wearside club to manage the England team.
Sam Allardyce believes Jermain Defoe can again inspire Sunderland to safety.
Allardyce - now in charge at Crystal Palace after a one-match spell with England - insists he gave the incoming boss a warts and all description of Sunderland after overseeing last season's great escape.
Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 in midweek Premier League action, while Sunderland held Tottenham Hotspur to a 0-0 draw.
Crystal Palace have won a league-low seven points at home this season (W2 D1 L8).
Sunderland have lost their last five away Premier League games, last losing more consecutively in February 2008 (10 in a row).
Including those cup matches, Sunderland have been shut out in eight of their 13 visits to Premier League opponents and their over-reliance on Defoe is clear from the fact that he has scored four of their six away goals.