Jack Rodwell also helped himself to a brace for the Black Cats but boss Dick Advocaat will be concerned with the three defensive howlers which had allowed the visitors to go in level at the break. “We put them together this morning (in training) and the cooperation on some set pieces was very poor”.
Despite picking up their first point of the season, Advocaat can see nothing to smile about as he waits to see who arrives at the Stadium of Light before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Advocaat then had to watch as Wheeler made it 2-2, again profiting from some non-defending by Sunderland.
David Wheeler should be available after recovering from an ankle injury. Defoe was the pivot, picking out Patrick van Aanholt overlapping on the left. But Troy Brown blocked, only for the rebound to fall to Rodwell who drove in a low shot. Yet Sebastian Coates indulged in some three minutes on when Danny Butterfield floated a cross in his direction.
Eight minutes later, Sunderland were back in front, Defoe stroking in a smooth second from a Lee Cattermole pass. Still home fans could not relax.
Watmore made it 5-3 when he prodded O’Shea’s long ball past Olejnik before rolling into an empty net, and Defoe completed the scoring as he claimed his hat-trick with three minutes remaining.
However, there have been fresh reports that Toivonen is in Sunderland’s sights after the Black Cats have been credited with an interest throughout the summer in the 29-year-old, who played under Dick Advocaat at PSV Eindhoven. Exeter took a couple of blows, but they gave a bit as well.
It was still topsy-turvy but rather than 3-4, 10 minutes later it was 4-3.
Sunderland introduced Steven Fletcher at half time in place of Dany Graham but the Scot’s appearance lasted just nine minutes as he was forced off with an injury after a heavy collision with a defender, while Adam Matthews was also forced off later in the half.
Sunderland have scored first in forty percent of their last twenty home matches.